Synopsis: A 10-year-old girl moves into a house her dad and his new girlfriend are renovating and encounters creatures living inside. At first, they claim they are her friends. But she quickly learns that isn’t the case.
Who’s in it?Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison.
What I liked about this movie:I was actually pretty impressed with Bailee Madison in this film. A lot of child actors are cast pretty much for cuteness and really don’t bring any substance to a film like this other than you don’t want to see the cute kid get killed. But Madison actually managed to play her part pretty well.
There were times when she reminded me of my own kids and I wanted to slap her. And, during some of the more intense scenes, she was very believable as a scared little girl. In fact, I think she might have improved some of the scenes just by being in them.
What I didn’t like about this movie: It is like EVERY other horror movie involving children I have ever seen. A little girl sees something menacing and, not only do her parents not believe her, they call in a child psychologist because it has to be something that is treatable with drugs or, at very least, sleeping pills; even after seeing plenty of other evidence (such as one of their employees having a brutal “accident” in the basement) to support her claims. Just once, I would love to have one of the parents see something first.
More importantly, while creepy at times, the movie really didn’t pass as scary. I think a large part of the reason for this is the creatures, at best, looked like mutated Muppet rats. My wife and I found ourselves picking on them and comparing them to everything from the undead monkey in Pirates of the Caribbean to Dobby from the Harry Potter movies. It’s hard to be scared of something when you are busy picking on it.
Final Opinion: The film makes two major mistakes. First, it is too much like every other horror movie out there. Second, it should have kept the creatures in the shadows because they were much scarier when we couldn’t see them. The movie wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but, because of these mistakes, it failed to be anything special and I had no problem turning my lights off after watching it.
My Grade: 3 stars out of a possible 5.