Boy, we've had some stinkers this time around. Here's the last one:
The New Daughter with Kevin Costner. The only movie I reviewed that had a well known actor (No. Rene Zellweger doesn't count, and neither does Bradly Cooper because he was barely in that movie!)
I've never been able to understand the success of Kevin Costner. I know he has his fans, but just come on now. (Dances with Wolves was good despite Costner's acting, not because of it.) He has one facial expression--the same one you have when you're standing in line to get a coffee.
I was ready to hate The New Daughter. I didn't even set out to watch it. I'm kind of busy with Halloween, so I was puttering around the house while my wife watched. To my own surprise, it drew me in and I ended up making sure that I was near the TV for the final scenes.
This is not your typical horror movie. It's not really even a psychological thriller. It's basically a Lovecraftian story about things Man Was Not Meant To Know, and the horrors that lurk just out of sight of our everyday civilization; that drive mad anyone unfortunate enough to confront them.
What some people have called "plodding", I would instead refer to as "even pacing". The story sets a slow, but deliberate pace and it keeps it up for most of the film. That is part of the atmosphere of the whole story. Costner is not so much being wooden as he is playing a man who is coming to terms with a malaise that has descended on his family. One that he can't seem to escape and that only becomes more monstrous and desperate, the more he learns about it.
Some parts are predictable, yet most are not. (Part of that predictability is that Costner's family is repeating a pattern that has occurred in the house in the past.) There was more than once when I thought, "they aren't really going there, are they? Yep, I guess they are..."
My spoiler is this: This is not a story about hope. If you like your horror stories to have happy endings and a victory dance, then this may not be the one for you. Lovecraft stories and Mythos stories rarely end with the protagonist completely conquering Evil or emerging whole, healthy and sane after confronting it.
And seeing his daughter coming home late at night covered in dirt and small twigs causes Costner; like any good dad would do, to go to a "mound walker expert." I didn't make that up by the way, the guy actually calls himself that in the movie. Apparently there is a University somewhere completely dedicated to large mounds of dirt in the woods, where interested students can become experts in the study of mounds and other mound related things, such as dirt, psychosis caused by laying on mounds, as well as angry Indian mound spirits. Anything this movie had going for it pretty much got buried under a mound at this point, where it then probably proceeded to become a mound walker. And the ending, I won't ruin the ending, but apparently a mound the size of a swimming pool has an underground network of tunnels that rivals the size of the sewage system of Washington D.C. Unless you have some sort of dirt covered Indian zombie fetish or are some kind of masochist, don't watch this movie.
Then again the horror movies I hear people enjoy are actually slasher films with lots of gore. That's not really horror, that's a form of sadism, but hey! Whatever gets you off (that was sarcasm)
If you like your horror to give you something to think about afterward, though, then give The New Daughter a try.
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Because I fail to update daily.