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I am writing this 15 minutes into the film: I am very worried that given the style of production, category of actors, country of production and tone and themes set at the beginning, there will not be any surprises coming up in this movie… Can this all really be that obvious and ordinary???

Correction, I got it all wrong. And they wanted me to get it wrong. But what they gave me instead was … terrible. This must be the most contrived script ever, going first one way, then deciding to go another way, and then we learn what the real story is and that’s it. I cannot start to understand how they got Ethan Hawke to play along with this, maybe they slipped him a fake script, but then again, if they had a real script, why did they not use it? There is not a single moment where I was convinced by what was going on: either I saw age-old genre conventions (why do they never turn on the light when they go up the attic, or the dark study where things are happening…??), or poor acting (those children… that police officer… that wife…). There are exactly three redeming features: 1) the music by Christopher Young, which is eery and atmospheric… only it does not fit to the conventional style the film showcases mostly. 2) the end credits, which have been nicely crafted following the “Seven” model, 3) the fate of our hero and his family at the end, which was indeed surprising, but only as an isolated event, in the context of the film it was just weird and actually off. And what happens after we see what’s happening to them is… maybe the most embarassing bit of film-ending I have seen in a while (note: make list of stupid film endings!)

A really really strange film, and not in a good way, a patchwork of deficiencies.

One Comment

  1. Nice review! I see we were of a similar mind on this one! Such a waste, this could have been something but falls back on tired and over used tricks to get scares. Have you seen Ils? Creepy children done right IMO.

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