Half Light

Movie Review by Susan Hodgetts

Starring: Demi Moore, Hans Matheson, James Cosmo, Kate Isitt, Therese Bradley
Director: Craig Rosenberg

Demi Moore has picked Australian writer/director Craig Rosenberg’s supernatural thriller HALF LIGHT in which to continue her comeback, sharing the screen with the extraordinarily handsome Hans Matheson as her hot young co-star. It has to be said, Moore is looking good, and proves she is still more than capable of carrying a picture on her own (possibly re-sculpted) shoulders. It is a bit of a shame that the picture, for all Moore’s and Matheson’s capabilities, falls into cliche and cheesy dialogue a fair amount of the time.

Moore is (yawn) highly successful mystery novelist Rachel Carlson, who is left with a severe case of writer’s block when her 7 year-old son Thomas drowns in the canal outside her and hubby Brian’s Primrose Hill, London home. Fast-forward to 8 months later, and Carlson is still trying to come to terms with her guilt over the tragedy and has been left with her marriage in tatters. Her best friend Sharon (COUPLING’s Kate Isitt) arranges for her to rent a remote cottage in Ingonish Cove in the Scottish Highlands, where Rachel hopes she may begin to heal and start writing again. Before she can even get the ribbon in her typewriter however she’s having spooky visions of her son and receiving strange messages from the local weirdo. She makes friends with handsome Angus McCulloch (Hans Matheson) who keeps the lighthouse on the deserted island off the coast to her house. But as things appear to be getting back on some kind of even keel, Rachel is suddenly forced to question her sanity and the world around her.

The female performances in this film are particularly strong, with both Moore and Isitt holding up well. Moore inhibits her role with both strength and vulnerability, although with her hair long she looks bizarrely like a brunette Sarah Jessica Parker.

Whilst the plot keeps twisting and turning, the baddie may as well have permanent marker on his forehead from the start and the film is cliche ridden, ending up something like a cross between a Mills and Boon novel and the MURDER SHE WROTE TV series. Moore’s mystery novelist of course gets a mystery of her own to unravel and Angus’ seduction of the vulnerable Rachel is a particular example of pure cheddar. As for explanations to those extended bits of supernatural “luck”, it’s a supernatural thriller, silly, there are no boundaries for sense.

So nothing original, but not disastrous either.

3 out of 6 stars

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