[ATTENTION: This review reveals content of the movie.]
I went into this thinking it was about a haunted house, and was actually quite pleased when I found out it wasn't. Cold Creek Manor is a suspense movie very similar to Pacific Heights, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and Cape Fear, but is nowhere near as good as any of them. The acting is top-notch. Dennis Quaid is a good actor when not displaying that ear-to-ear grin of his, and I didn't see it once here; Sharon Stone is great, and Stephen Dorff was particularly menacing as the town badboy come back to harass the family that bought his house. Even Kristen Stewart, who plays the Tilson's teen (pre-teen?) daughter, is quite good, but hey, she's had some practice, having already starred in another suspense movie about a family that buys a ridiculously large and creepy house and is harassed by madmen, which was Panic Room. Heck, even hammers were important props in both films. What I did like about this movie is that the Tilsons are not perfect people, shining examples of human beings, angels who had never done a thing wrong in their collective lives. The mother is a bit of a strumpet, the daughter is a brat with a cell phone (no explanation necessary) and Daddy is a nosy jerk who thinks nothing of going through the personal things of the previous owner with intentions to make a documentary, even after meeting the guy and hearing his story. It's no wonder the dude hates him; I would too. And this adds depth to a villain who other critics have described as being one-dimensional. I find the character of Dale Massie to be the exact opposite. We see some of the factors that could have molded him into the type of dangerous man he is, and while his actions are clearly wrong, we still have to find some sympathy for him, in light of what he went through. Unfortunately, however, the movie lacks any real memorable scenes. Other movies of this kind have those scenes that just leave you cold (Hand That Rocks the Cradle had the greenhouse trap, Fatal Attraction had the bunny stew), but this just doesn't really do much. Dale's attacks on the family are rather mundane, realistic for a simple small-town bully and not some criminal mastermind, so I guess it makes sense. But for a movie, it does little to impress, and by the end, we all realize not much is going to come of this 2-hour excursion, and sadly, that there were no ghosts in Cold Creek Manor, not even a little one.
|7/10||newscott13@ - 400 reviews|
22.9.2003 - age: 26-35
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