When Will Attenton and his family move to a small town, they soon find they are living in a house where murders took place 5 years before.
Let me get this out of the way and just say that this is not a good movie. It is one of the worst theatrical releases I have seen since Clash of the Titans. The only difference is that I could see greatness in this film. It was just unrealized to the point of insipidness.
Daniel Craig plays Will Attenton, a successful editor who quits his job to write a novel and be with his wife (Rachael Weisz) and their 2 young daughters. When they discover that the new house they have moved into was the site of a brutal murder 5 years before, things take a turn for the worse. I’m sure that if you have seen the trailers for this film, you know what happens. This film is a textbook case of how NOT to make a movie trailer. Fair warning, it gives the whole movie away. Avoid it if you want to be surprised. Not that you will be surprised, as the film is telegraphed from a mile away.
The performances are strong all the way around, from Craig, Weisz, and Naomi Watts, their next door neighbor. Elias Koteas and Marton Csokas also star. It’s just unfortunate that the film doesn’t hold up with such a great cast.
Honestly, I’m not sure where the film falls apart. Whether it was from the script or studio tampering, the final film is almost unwatchable. I could see the big twist coming from about 10 minutes in. Of course, I had a leg up after seeing the trailer. While this is a train wreck, I did find myself interested, if not entertained, in the film until the horrible ending. It completely ruined an already bad movie.
As I said earlier, I could see moments where this would be a great film. The initial twists are interesting, and if fleshed out, could have provided a mind bending thriller. What this provides is wasted opportunity and time and provides black marks on the resumes of all involved.
The special feature included are simple epk (electronic press kit) material. No commentaries, but it does include the aforementioned trailer.
Director Jim Sheridan fought with Morgan Creek’s head Jim Robinson continuously on the set over the shape of the script and the production of the movie. After Sheridan re-shot some scenes because they did not go down well with test audiences, Morgan Creek took away the film from Sheridan’s hands to re-cut it themselves. As a result, they created the trailer which many felt gave away too many of the movie’s secrets. As a result, Sheridan, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz refused to promote the film to the press.
Well, that explains what went horribly wrong. Avoid this film.
*1/2 out of ****