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Claire and her husband Norman move into a new house, send their daughter off to college, work on Norman’s carreer as a physicist, and try to arrange their lives. But in the new home Claire encounters strange things, hears noises, suspects it to be haunted by a ghost. Maybe by the disappeared wife’s of the strange neighbour? She tries to find out.

It is great to see Michelle Pfeiffer again – how beautiful she is and how well she plays the fragile while competent manager of this family seeking to come to terms with the new set of tasks at hand. She convinces when she has her moments of sorrow about the departing daughter, and also when she realises that there is something worth being scared about.
Also good to watch is Harrison Ford, who may have a not too convincing twist of role in the script to tackle, but is doing it without too much embarassment.
It is that scrip that is the problem, and there is no acting talent in the world that can save the film from that: the daughter shows up once and is never seen again. The The neighbour fulfill their role and are dropped. Most importantly: the film is a pure cliché – or rather it is two cliches, because it does not decide whether it wants to fit the haunted house drawer (of the – say – El Orfanato http://www.information-society.de/Cine-Blog/2009/01/el-orfanato-juan-antonio-bayona-2007.html kind) or of the family member going all twisted kind (Enemy in my Bed, or whatever that one was called). Should you not mix the two genres? I say you should not, especially if on both ends you do not have anything new to add. You can be solid on either motif, and give some new twists. But here, everything is predictable from minute 5, and what is not belongs into the “You are kidding!” catgegory. The strangest thing may be to see the director’s name – is it me or should Robert Zemeckis be doing other kinds of movies, more entertaining business? I kind of lost track of him and when looking it up, I saw he is still pulling off a lot of blockbusters, but the specific talent that you would need for a genre piece like this… maybe that was not what he was made for. He is making all the obvious move of a family friendly director: introducing accessories like hair-dryers at one point when he needs them later. He uses some camera tricks like a glass floor that allows some new perspectives. Maybe the direction is just to visible, too blunt? In any case not convincing for me here. But then again, the only two films of his that I really like are “Roger Rabbit” and “Back To The Future”.
But Michelle Pfeiffer…wow…

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