Wednesday, June 05, 2013
30 Days of Nightmares #5: THE NEW DAUGHTER (2009)
The Story: A divorcee and his two children move into a new house, and find an Indian burial mound in the backyard. Weird things start happening to the daughter.
Expectations: Kevin Costner + Horror. Doesn't seem like a natural match, does it? But MR. BROOKS made me curious. Also, Rue Morgue magazine gave this one high marks, calling it "criminally under-appreciated."
Reaction: [REC] screenwriter Luiso Berdejo makes his directing debut here, and the result is an initially intriguing -- but ultimately forgettable -- supernatural thriller. THE NEW DAUGHTER starts out with all the subtlety of films like THE GIFT or THE MESSENGERS, then turns into a full-blown creature feature along the lines of THE DESCENT or PAN'S LABYRINTH. You might think I'm being lazy by talking about THE NEW DAUGHTER purely in relation to other films, but I think it's a fair approach because I have a feeling I won't remember much about this particular film in a few weeks time. Lackluster scare scenes and bland acting don't help. The film shows some promise for Berdejo as a craftsman, but I hope he'll select a bolder, more unique story for his next project. Call me a criminal under-appreciator.
Most Nightmare-Worthy Moment: The filmmaker (understandably) soft-peddles the suggestion of a soul-stealing mating ritual involving a prepubescent girl... but that mere suggestion is creepier than anything else in the film.
Labels: 30 Days of Nightmares