Anna Ivers returns home to her sister Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother. Her dismay quickly turns to horror when she is visited by ghastly visions of her dead mother.
After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to the parents of one of the victims: a mother and father who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics.
After the death of her ill mother in a fire, the young teenager Anna tries to commit suicide and is sent to a mental institution for treatment. Ten months later, Anna still cannot remember what had happened on the night her mother died. Her psychiatric Dr. Silberling, however, discharges her telling that she has resolved her issues. Her father and successful writer, Steven, brings her back home in an isolated mansion nearby the coast. Anna finds that her mother's former nurse, Rachel Summers, is her stepmother now. Anna meets her beloved sister, Alex, swimming in the sea. She discovers that Steven has not delivered the letters and CDs that Alex had sent to her. As time moves on, Anna is haunted by ghosts and she believes that Rachel killed her mother. Alex and Anna decide to look for evidences to prove that Rachel is the murderer and Anna discovers the truth about the fire in the boat house. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A variation of clever camera angles and forced perspective helped maintain the illusion that Elizabeth Banks was several inches taller than Emily Browning, who, in reality, is only two inches shorter. See more »
When Anna and Rachel are driving into town, you can see the BMW is a manual. Later when Anna is trying to escape from the house in the BMW, you can see it's changed to an automatic. See more »
I love you. And I have a condom.
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Browning's captivating performance can't save this turkey! (SPOILER ALERT)
I saw this movie BEFORE the original Korean horror film ('A Tale of Two Sisters' ) that it was based on and I found this a bland, blunter, popcorn shocker version of the film.
The sole merit of this film is Emily Browning. She turns in a credible performance. You believe in her, makes you fear for her, and that's half the battle.
So it's such a shame that the directors and screenwriters drop the ball so badly. Everything in this movie is SO geared to a major twist in the last reel that instead of making you bug out with its rug-pulling impact, like Sixth Sense or Usual Suspects do, it instead just makes you roll your eyes.
Why? Because like those 2 films i've mentioned this flick lacks of any preceding foreshadowing or character nuance thus robbing the end twist of its intended impact. Oh, and the cheesy J Horror ghosts moments seem more Scary Movie than The Ring.
The Korean original was creepier, confusing in parts but it comes together in the end and the cinematography is beautifully framed (one impressive shot comes out from underwater and up onto a deck where the titular sisters are sitting). The Guard Brothers ignore such artistry and go for a generic approach and when they do breakaway its to copy/homage a Kubrick helicopter shot from 'The Shining'.
Strathairn (fantastic in Good Night + Good Luck) is wasted. Banks, who has proved her on screen versatility in an eclectic choice of roles in multiple pics over the past year, here goes for the fairy tale Step mother - the steel under her smile was borderline hammy but she definitely is one of the best (and overlooked) actresses in the business.
All in all - avoid this film and seek out the Korean original instead but if it turns up on cable and you have 87 minutes to waste - watch it for Browning and Banks and the fun of yawning at a schlock-y story. LOL
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