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College student Holly Teller (Elisabeth Harnois) is drawn to the mysterious small town of Riddle, Pennsylvania in search of her missing brother. Against the will of the local Sheriff (Val Kilmer) and town elder (William Sadler), she begins to unravel a mystery connected to an abandoned psychiatric hospital on the edge of town, uncovering a terrifying past the town is determined to keep hidden. Written by
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"Riddle" is a fun thriller that catches your attention early and keeps it throughout. Elisabeth Harnois plays Holly, a high-school girl with a younger brother who suffers from Thompson's Disease. One day, he disappears and she is, of course, devastated.
Cut to three years later. She is back from college helping out with the Farmer's Market when she becomes convinced she has seen her missing brother. She follows the trail to the town of Riddle, which just happens to be the home town of the last two boys who saw her brother. Riddle looks to be a town on the door of Hell -- completely run down and sparsely populated. The major drawing point of the town seems to be the wonder of Nature that is Diora Baird, who is the daughter the less than helpful Sheriff (Val Kilmer). But Riddle also has secrets, and they are brought out into the open as Holly continues to dig where, as she is told, she doesn't belong.
Lots of good stuff here. The story moves quickly and briskly. Even though you'll probably guess the culprit early on (I did), there's enough ancillary mystery to make that OK. The early scenes prior to young Nate's disappearance are genuinely unsettling and make a couple of characters way more complex than they have a right to in a film like this. And finally, it's not surprising that Harnois and Baird are friends in real life -- they have an easy going, natural chemistry together that really helps drive the film forward.
Nothing classic here, guys, but better than a lot and definitely worth checking out.
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