This modest, but entertaining and well executed horror comedy gem apparently flopped when it was first released. The general consensus for what caused this, although admittedly impossible to prove, is widely held to be its ill-timing; it was released just ten days after the Columbine High School massacre. Admittedly, the film isn't a masterpiece (well, to me at least anyway), and there are, to be honest, some parts where I always end up thinking "I should really stick Evil Dead II on right now" whenever I watch it. Nonetheless, it still scores highly as one of those familiar but always reliable flicks to dig out whenever the Halloween season comes around; I'd say that it fairly well fits Quentin Tarantino's definition of a good hangout movie (to give an example, if you're unfamiliar with the term, QT considers Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused as possibly the greatest film of this type).
The story follows Anton Tobias (the excellent Devon Sawa, who also starred in Final Destination), a lackadaisical stoner (not that I've got room to judge) whose chronic (or should that be chronic fuelled?) laziness leads to him becoming a magnet for a discarnate, malevolent force that possesses one of his hands, turning him, in the process, into the proverbial "Devil's plaything". He's assisted throughout this troublesome episode by his perennially toasted buddies Mick (Seth Green) and Pnub (Elden Henson) and the smoking hot, bass playing chick from across the street, Molly (Jessica Alba). Also along for the ride, although more intermittently, are fearless Druidic priestess/warrior Debi LeCure (Vivica A. Fox) and truck-driving, Motley Crue fan, Randy (Jack Noseworthy).Whilst the movie comes down somewhat short on the horror/suspense side of things (although these elements are still reasonably well set-up and staged) it functions perfectly well as a lighthearted comedy romp. You could perhaps try and read into Anton's narrative arc and look for subtext, but I wouldn't bother, as it all feels a little inconsistent (not that it really matters). In fact, it's kind of cool that the film comes full circle in its seeming suggestions about marijuana use; weed actually ends up helping to save the day here (see also - Richard Stanley's brilliant, underrated sci-fi horror Hardware (1990)).