A family relocates from the city to a dilapidated house in the country that was once a grand estate. As they begin renovations, they discover their new home harbors a secret and may not be completely free of its former inhabitant.
Wanting to escape city life for the countryside, New Yorkers Cooper Tilson (Quaid), his wife Leah (Stone) and their two children move into a dilapidated old mansion still filled with the possessions of the previous family. Turning it into their dream house soon becomes a living nightmare when the previous owner (Dorff) shows up, and a series of terrifying incidents lead them on a spine-tingling search for clues to the estate's dark and lurid past... Written by
When he visits Dale's father in the nursing home/hospital, Cooper sets his camera on the tray at the foot of the bed, aimed at the old man, but not in close-up, and he doesn't change the zoom during the scene. Yet, when he shows the recording to the sheriff, the image is a close-up of the man's face. See more »
OK we've all seen this type of film before, family leave problems and life in the city for a new start in the country only to find far greater and real problems than those they left behind.
Unfortunately it's just not done particularly well in this movie. It starts well and gives the impression it will lead into some kind of haunted mansion movie once the family arrive at their new home. However, what happens is far less exciting.
Quaid gives another solid but unremarkable performance, Dorff is passable but his character never seems as threatening as he should be, Lewis plays the kind of role she seems to fit like a glove. The one thing I realised from this film is Sharon Stone has no impact or presence on the screen at all, I mean she had an impact on me when I was 15 and first saw Basic Instinct, but hey. She is one of the few actresses I would actually advise to only accept films with nudity scenes involved.
The direction is only apt, you feel there is meant to be some kind of attraction or sexual tension between Dorff's and Stone's character but whether due to the fault of the Director or actors it does not work at all. It is also at times very predictable, which is not a good factor for a thriller.
The film does have it's redeeming features, it does at least keep you interested enough to follow through to the climax just to see what happens. It is one though you will not be revisiting soon again.
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