UK Release date: 27th January 2012
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 24th November 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is one of those films that I can’t remember just how it got added to ‘The List’ but somehow it got on there. The reason I say that is because, although it does play very well people’s fear of the dark, it’s ultimately a bit of a let-down. But I digress; I will give you my thoughts (both good and bad) after this very brief summary.
We begin in Spain with Juan (Izán Corchero) and his mother, Luisa (Pilar López de Ayala). They live alone and Juan seems to have a very active imagination; making up spooky stories etc. This all begins to get frightening when one of his stories starts to come true! A faceless man first attacks his mother and then Juan before trying to kidnap him. We then switch to England where twelve year old Mia (Ella Purnell) stumbles upon a ghost story that has very similar beginnings to Juan’s. It’s not all there, but she adds to it and soon finds she is being stalked by a very similar faceless man. Her father, John Farrow (Clive Owen) tries to allay her fears, but it all seems too real for Mia. What could possibly link these two seemingly unrelated stories?... Well, if I told you that you really wouldn’t thank me, so I’ll keep it to myself (for now).
All the performances were very good with Clive Owen and Ella Purnell taking centre stage for the majority of the action. I also liked Carice van Houten, who played Mia’s mother, Susanna. The filmmakers did a good job of playing on the natural human fears; particularly the fear of monsters lurking in the dark. I did feel the use of CGI was a little heavy-handed in a couple of places though. Sadly, it’s let down by the ending; it really didn’t have enough pay-off for what had gone before. There are parts of this film that I genuinely found scary (rare, I know), and I was looking forward to an astonishing ending that would make all those scares worthwhile, but it never came… Disappointing is the only word that describes it I’m afraid.
SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED
My score: 5.4/10
IMDb Score: 5.3/10 (based on 8,830 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 45/100: (Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 23/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 4,342 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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