A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.
Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.
Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.
When Kimberly has a violent premonition of a highway pileup she blocks the freeway, keeping a few others meant to die, safe...Or are they? The survivors mysteriously start dying and it's up to Kimberly to stop it before she's next.
Christine Brown is a loans officer at a bank but is worried about her lot in life. She's in competition with a competent colleague for an assistant manager position and isn't too sure about her status with a boyfriend. Worried that her boss will think less of her if she shows weakness, she refuses a time extension on a loan to an old woman, Mrs. Ganush, who now faces foreclosure and the loss of her house. In retaliation, the old woman place a curse on her which, she subsequently learns, will result in her being taken to hell in a few days time. With the help of a psychic, she tries to rid herself of the demon, but faces several hurdles in the attempt. Written by
Raimi uses his popularity to sell us this weak work.
This was not, I repeat, NOT a great movie. Okay I'm exaggerating a little here. Shouldn't have used the word "great." Let me try again: This was not, I repeat, NOT a good movie. Ahhhh, that's better. I like Sam Raimi's work enough although I'm not a very big fan. I really think he enjoys a semi-cult-like popularity that leads some folks here to close their eyes on the many flaws and write positive reviews about this weak Raimi offering.
There are several very big problems here. The main one starts with the unconvincing performance of Alison Lohman playing the protagonist Christine Brown. I have not seen her in a lot of movies but if I have, her work must have been as forgettable as this one.
Miss Lohmann comes off as a B-actress with very little range here. In many scenes I could have sworn they had just called her to the set as soon as she was done memorizing her lines. Those lines came out of her mouth just like a junior-high student trying to pass an oral exam by only memorizing from the text book instead of actually learning the topic.
Miss Lohman should not take all the blame for this, though. Her character is so unbelievable that when she has her first sequence of violent spirit activity in her residence she merely shuts a door and goes back to her normal life. After the third or fourth such evil-spirit violence she calms down enough to go out with her boyfriend and talk about how nice a night it is! The writing is very weak and feels rushed. As if the script was written in one Saturday afternoon. The dialogs are so lame that I'm not sure if even Meryl Streep could have made lemonade out of it. Justin Long who does a good job in those MAC commercials looks like he is having a hard time keeping a straight face with this script.
To be fair the individual set pieces are somewhat effective and in a couple of occasions even somewhat scary. But this is far too rare here. The Cheapest way filmmakers try to scare you is with gore-galore. The second cheapest, in my opinion, is when you are give sudden loud "scare" scenes designed to make you jump from your seat. While Mr. Raimi keeps the gore to a reasonable level he profusely relies on sudden shock shots to scare you.
Ah yes, there's a third cheapest scare tactic and it's not so much a scare tactic as it is a make-you sick tactic. Bloody vomit is really passé but Mr. Raimi does not let that bother him. He also serves us saliva-soaked yellowed dentures, corpse vomit and a host of other yuks. That stuff worked for "The Exorcist" because it never felt like the director was feeding it to us just because he could. It does feel that way here.
And oh yes, what was up with the boyfriend's parents? Imagine caricatures of Greg's parents in "Dharma & Greg!" At least that show was a sitcom. Were these characters even necessary? If so, why not flesh them out better? The whole sequence with the parents felt like another cheap attempt to fill five or ten minutes of this flick. Too bad.
I gave this movie two out of ten on the IMDb feedback scale. The only thing that saved it from zero was the set pieces that managed to work. And that's not all of them, mind you.
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