A family relocates from the city to a dilapidated house in the country that was once a grand estate. As they begin renovations, they discover their new home harbors a secret and may not be completely free of its former inhabitant.
Wanting to escape city life for the countryside, New Yorkers Cooper Tilson (Quaid), his wife Leah (Stone) and their two children move into a dilapidated old mansion still filled with the possessions of the previous family. Turning it into their dream house soon becomes a living nightmare when the previous owner (Dorff) shows up, and a series of terrifying incidents lead them on a spine-tingling search for clues to the estate's dark and lurid past...Written by
Generally speaking I will buy the DVD of any movie starring Juliette Lewis, so I finally caught up with "Cold Creek Manor" when I found it on DVD. I expected it to be pretty bad because of what I've read about it. But it's not so bad a film. I stayed with it anyway. Juliette, as usual, is wasted in a thankless part. It's a shame these days that genuinely fine actors do these trailer trash kind of roles, mostly because big stars and lesser actors won't do them. If Juliette was around in the old days she would have had the roles they gave Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland or Joan Crawford. Today she does roles like this (not to mention her career nadir in an episode of the mind-numbingly awful "My Name is Earl"). Dennis Quaid, Shane Stone and the young actors playing their children are very good. I really liked this family. I suppose the lack of suspense is due to the fact that there was little conflict between them other than the usual family gripes. There was an undeveloped plot point where Stone admits to considering an affair. This could have been interesting. Brad Pittish Stephen Dorff's character was underdeveloped. The gradual revelation of his past was not suspenseful enough to be effective and this is something of a fatal flaw. I am glad Mike Figgis scrapped the alternate ending that was included in the DVD's special features. But I think the pool scene might have worked, though it would have made the film unnecessarily longer. "Cold Creek Manor" reminded me "Straw Dogs" and pales in comparison. But on its own merits, it's nowhere near as bad as the comments on this website indicate. Worth a look.
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