Movie Review by Ania Kalinowska
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Sharon Stone, Stephen Dorff, Juliette Lewis, Kristen Stewart
Director: Mike Figgis
Every house has its secrets…
Married couple Cooper and Leah Tilson (Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone) become enticed with the idea of living in the countryside after one of their two children is involved in a car accident. Deciding to swap their highly stressed New York City lives for serene country ones, they move to a huge rundown mansion called Cold Creek Manor in New York State. But the countryside peacefulness is only an illusion.
During the much-needed house renovations things start appearing suspicious, especially after the previous owner, hunky Dale Massie (Stephen Dorff), shows up. It’s apparent that the fresh-out-of-jail Massie is as unwholesome as the story of his missing family. A dead horse, a few spooky scenes and some confrontations later we find out that the ‘mystery’ of Cold Creek Manor is really just an obvious murder whodunit.
Director Mike Figgis creates some suspense with great tracking shots; the photography and visual thoughts are skilful and the score complementary. It’s also great to see Sharon Stone back on screen joining an all-star cast, but…
… Unfortunately you’ve seen it all before – the plot is predictable – and the film in general lacks the fast paced scenes that would make it truly gripping. While some scenes will leave you popping up in your seat – the snake sequence, for example, is scary – there is simply not enough to make it the heart pounding horror promised by the trailer. Add to that the slow beginning and poor script are wasted on this talented cast who not surprisingly give unremarkable performances, this certainly isn’t a cinematic landmark.
Although better for viewing on the big screen, don’t expect to be glancing nervously behind you after you leave the movie theatre.