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Tim and Cheryl Broadbent are excited to finally adopt Mona, a beautiful baby girl. But when the baby's biological father starts stalking them, their world turns upside down: through intimidation, manipulation, and violence, he is determined to take his daughter back. Written by
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One of those movies that is neither good or bad but just below average. Adopting Terror does have some things going for it, the best aspect being the menacing performance of Brendan Fehr, an achievement for someone who doesn't have a huge amount to work with. The first 15 minutes or so are unsettling too, the baby is adorable and the locations show effort and a sense of atmosphere. The production values and supporting cast generally are very competent but they are never more than that, they're never cheap or bad but just without distinction throughout. Unfortunately the leads don't carry Adopting Terror well at all. Sean Astin has a flat character to begin with and he brings very little emotion in terms of acting which only accentuates that fact, instead it is a very stiff and lifeless performance. Samaire Armstrong's acting is a mix of overwrought overacting and disinterested mumbling, one of those vulnerable-meaning performances that doesn't strike the right chord in the least bit. The chemistry between Astin and Armstrong never convinces either. The music is far too heavy-sounding and too much of a dirge in terms of tempo, it does tone down a little later on but it's never memorable and it happens too late really. The script is also uncomfortably clunky and ham-fisted, delivered also with very little urgency and it never does find the right tone. The story is the chief factor in where Adopting Terror falls down, the ending is one that doesn't surprise in the least bit, the movie is often very dully paced especially in the middle and this is one thriller with very little if any suspense or thrills and instead reeks of predictability. If there were any scares intended at all they were very tame, and the more melodramatic elements didn't seem to be taken that seriously, it's all underwritten and overacted that any melodrama comes across as more cheesy than poignant. The characters are not developed and not easy to invest in, Fehr's character was the most rootable and that wasn't even the intention, that actually shows how flatly realised Astin and Armstrong's characters are. Overall, Adopting Terror starts well and has good locations, an adorable baby and one very good performance but the lead performances, music, script and story are really lacking. And the production values and supporting cast fall into the camp of never being amateurish but never standout-worthy either. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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