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David Michael Latt
Eriq La Salle,
A former child star buys her grandmother's house to rescue it from ruin but her hope for serenity is soon eclipsed by haunting dreams of her famous grandmother, who died of a supposed overdose in the house more than 30 years ago.
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Alice, 32, a writer recovering from a psychological breakdown retreats to a remote Victorian house to convalesce and focus on finishing her screenplay in time for a fast approaching deadline. Shortly after her arrival, mysterious noises and strange happenings cause her imagination to run wild, sending her on a twisting and terrifying pursuit to find out what is behind the endless mind games. Frightened but intrigued, Alice gathers the courage to go down into the cold, dingy attic where she finds a shoe box filled with mini-dv tapes. The terrifying secret that lies within the tapes will unravel Alice's dark past. Written by
A writer Alice (Brittany Murphy) gets dropped off by a friend at a spooky Victorian house, to be alone for a week to write. Her friend drives off leaving Alice alone to explore the house and as she does she finds mini video cassettes of the former residents, a young couple, going about their daily lives. The rest of the movie jumps between the present, the author in the house, and the past, what is happening to the couple's lives by watching the tapes. Even with the dual story line there is no character development, at all. There isn't a reason to even care about what happens to them. You don't know what their goals or hopes are, or their past. Except in a the simplest of references. Like: "He had a history of depression". So when the movie jumps between past and present you don't even want to even bother to try to and figure it out. And Brittany Murphy has the complete inability to keep her mouth closed. As in, lips together, so it looks like she is gasping for air like a fish out of water. She wanders through the entire movie with eyes bugged out and lips apart, brow furrowed (not literally of course with the advent of Botox) and saying nothing because this takes place in an empty house there really isn't a lot of dialogue. I am wondering what the point of this movie was. I really am. No conflict, mute fish-like characters, no plot really or story...hmm. I gave it a 4 because the camera work and production was decent and the bad acting was due to a sophomoric script. This isn't even a good rainy day desperation I will watch this, because nothing is on cable type movie. And Thora Birch was in this so I mistakenly thought it would improve. There is a last gasp at the end to try to scare you but seriously. After an hour and 10 minutes of nothing it is kind of hard to recover. And these movies with the tired plot line of people who are mentally ill and/or on medication is so old. EVERYONE IS ON MEDICATION. Statistically 50% of the US is, so why this should be significant to any plot is beyond me. In short, watch this only if you run out of Ambien.
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