I would like to know who gave the green light for this to be produced. They should feel really, really bad, because I probably won’t be the only reviewer who rips this film to shreds.
The opening shows a woman with her son frantically packing their bags to flee their home. The woman is attacked by some unknown force and as she is pulled by her feet into a room, she drags her fingernails across the floor, leaving white lines. Just what happened to that lady and the rest of her family is the underlying plot in this poor excuse for a feature film.
The Solomons have left Chicago for a quieter life in North Dakota. Roy (Dylan McDermott) has bought a farm complete with a big, spooky-looking house to accommodate his wife, Denise (Penelope Ann Miller), daughter Jessica (Kristen Stewart), and toddler son Ben (cutie pies Evan and Theodore Turner).
During the movie, we learn Jessica did something pretty bad that warranted this zippy move. We don’t learn until way down the line just what the big deal was. What she did wasn’t exactly good, but it wasn’t the crime of the century either.
Anyway, so Dad decides to plant sunflowers to make his living. When crows start gathering on the seed bags and attack people (nice nod to Hitchcock, I have to say), John Corbett is there with a shotgun to scare them away. John (that’s his name in the movie, too) is just drifting around, looking for work. Roy hires him as a farmhand right on the spot, and has him basically living with the family, no references, nothing. Just the man?s word. Good idea, huh? As if it could get any worse, a creepy-looking bank representative (William B. Davis) comes calling not once, but twice, to get Roy to sell the property. Thoughts in my head during his scenes? “What was the point of this guy even being here”?
Guess what? There are spirits haunting the house and only little, non-verbal Ben and his sister can see them. Furniture gets knocked over, Jessica gets thrown about, the lights flicker? All those paranormal film cliches are brought out. Mother and daughter don’t quite see eye-to-eye, but there doesn’t seem to be any real emotional bond between them. The parents have a hard time believing her, but she’s got an ally in Bobby (Dustin Milligan), her new friend.
In the stereotypical plot twist, and the only (albeit extremely brief) decent part of the film, the deep dark secret of the haunting of the house and the connection with the current events can be summed up in the following phrase: Enter the abusive psychopath with the pitchfork.
As a whole, there was no chemistry in the plot, the action, or the actors. The film was convoluted, with no originality, and the entire thing simply dragged on throughout the hour and a half. The supreme talent of Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller, and John Corbett were reduced to flat characters: two who aren?t even remotely believable as a loving, married couple, and the other just as wooden as the rest. Kristen Stewart’s brooding teenager turned Nancy Drew was pointless, as well.
I can honestly say that this was one of the worst films that I have ever seen. Absolutely horrible. I can’t stress this enough! Consider this a message from me: Don’t even bother!
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