Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.
M. Night Shyamalan
Bryce Dallas Howard,
Preacher Graham Hess, played by Mel Gibson, has lost his faith in God after his wife dies in a brutal car accident. He along with his son and daughter and his brother Merrill lives in a farmhouse. Crop circles begin to appear in their corn fields which Graham dismisses as mischief by miscreants. After hearing strange noises and watching news coverage on crop circles appearing all over the world, the family grows suspicious of alien activities. Now they must stick together and believe, as a family to survive the ordeal and find a way to escape.Written by
Just after the DVD is inserted into the player, and immediately after the Touchstone logo, a dark, fuzzy image appears in black and white, very quickly. It is a movie still, with Merrill, Morgan, and Bo sitting on the couch with the aluminum hats on their heads. The picture is shown even faster when "Play" is selected. See more »
Graham approaches the police roadblock in his car, yet when he exits the car, there are many flashing emergency-vehicle lights behind him as well. See more »
The end credits are black text that rolls over a black screen with a illuminated blue circle in the middle, instead of the traditional white text on a flat black background. See more »
An additional deleted scene was shown during the credits when it aired on a pay channel in the USA. Grahm Hess tells everyone they must go into the basement. He then tells the story of how he accidentally dislocated Merrill's elbow when he was 1½ years old, and that Merrill never got mad at him. The scene ends with everyone walking down the stairs and closing the basement door. See more »
Works up some eerie suspense but is ultimately unsatisfying...
Most of the suspense is well geared to keep you wondering how on earth this plot is going to be unraveled--but when the windup comes it's a disappointment in more ways than one. I was with the story until the last fifteen minutes when the whole thing just fell apart--but along the way there are many things to admire.
The performances are all first-rate, although I would have preferred a better, more appealing child actor than Rory Culkin as the son who reads up on aliens. He lacks the distinct personality of his more famous brother. Abigail Breslin, on the other hand, is a sheer delight in her role, reminiscent of Drew Barrymore in "ET". Joaquin Phoenix does a standout job as Mel Gibson's brother who can wield a mean baseball bat and Gibson himself is so subdued for a change that it makes you wonder if he really believed in the script. Phoenix and his relationship with the children provides some humorous highlights that are welcome in this kind of intense story. It's nice to see him in a more wholesome role than usual.
The suspense is guaranteed to keep you glued to the screen until the letdown of an ending. Just be advised that there are compensations for keeping a sharp eye on the film before the disappointing denouement. M. Night Shyamalan can be praised for an original script and some smart direction--but too bad the religious aspects of the story were so muddled as to seem foolish. James Newton Howard's score is highly effective for this kind of story, especially toward the end.
Enjoy at your own risk because along the way the contrivances show.
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