Cold Creek Manor
2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
cold creek manor Hmmm, I might be being cynical, but it certainly seems like Figgis is doing a Hollywood job here to finance his more experimental Euro-projects. Whatever, this is a by-the-books thriller that offers nothing new to the genre besides a fairly efficient story and above-average direction and casting. It's the "city family moves to the country" plotline as the Tilsons (dad Quaid, mom Stone, kids Stewart and Wilson) buy the mammoth Cold Creek Manor at a bargain price, leaving Manhattan behind and finding it rather difficult to fit in with the new rural populace. Especially when the former owner Dale (Dorff), who's had the house in his family for generations, gets out of jail (ominous chord!). Soon all sorts of strange things are happening, dark secrets are unearthed and the Tilsons find themselves in for a very scary struggle to keep their home.

Figgis directs this all efficiently, in a kind of old-style way that establishes the characters and situations long before anything creepy starts to happen. Then it won't stop, with the creepy white trash waitress (Lewis) and her sheriff sister (Eskelson), Dale's creepy dying father (Plummer), creepy photos and books of kids poems and drawings found in the house, creepy discoveries in the woods, a creepy snake infestation, a creepy storm blowing in! It's enough to drive a movie-thriller family nuts! But it's all fairly dull for us to watch, because we've seen it a million times. Frankly, the internal drama in the story is much more interesting (and much better played) than the newbies-vs-hicks horror movie that's thrust in our faces. And as it progresses, the characters become so stupid that we lose interest in them. I mean honestly, how idiotic can people be in a movie like this? It's so ludicrous that you begin to shout at the screen because it's impossible that Quaid and Stone could be this thick. It's a real pity because the film has a terrific cast ... and Figgis does know better.

cert 15 themes, violence, language, sex 28.Nov.03

dir Mike Figgis
scr Richard Jefferies
with Dennis Quaid, Sharon Stone, Stephen Dorff, Juliette Lewis, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Wilson, Dana Eskelson, Christopher Plummer, Simon Reynolds, Kathleen Duborg, Paula Brancati, Aidan Devine
release US 19.Sep.03; UK 30.Jan.03
03/US 1h59

Spot the horse's patoot: Quaid, Wilson, Stone and Stewart before it gets scary...

quaid stone dorff
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R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... cold creek manor Will Slemmings, Gt Bardfield, Essex: 4.5/5 "Awesome!! One of the best films ive seen, ever." (15.Jun.04)
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall