Dave's Rating:


Because when you think "fear," you think Connecticut.

Who's In It: Virginia Madsen, Martin Donovan, Kyle Gallner, Elias Koteas, Amanda Crew

The Basics: A mom with absolutely no sense of what a comforting, warm, healing environment looks or feels like moves her cancer-ridden teenage son into an old, creepy, broken-down former mortuary. That the front of the building looks like it's got a face and giant death-teeth set to devour all who enter doesn't seem to bother her. Oh, and there's a special murky-glass-window-lined wall in the basement, obscuring a part of the house no one can enter because the door is permanently locked. She brushes that off, too.

"Gee, I wonder what's behind these dead-bolted doors, Mom?" "Oh, honey, I don't know. Let's just hope for the best."

What's The Deal: Because this is a PG-13 movie, you know that you're not really going to be scared much, if at all, unless you're in elementary school or are a really jumpy adult who's never really seen many horror movies before. If you are a part of either of those demographic groups then every single time the movie sets up a jolt moment (and there should be an odometer at the bottom of the screening keeping a tally because, seriously, there are a ton of them and they're all this film has to offer) you're going to throw your popcorn everywhere. You'll be amazed by how many times the movie thinks that yet another ghoul with a melting face jumping out at you, underscored by a shrieking blast of music, is going to do the trick.

That Thing On The Poster Explained For Those Who Want To Know. That Means Spoilers In This Part: The kid on the poster--the one with what looks like the ghost of a giant chantarelle mushroom bursting from his mouth--is a ghost himself. It has to do with how the former mortuary had seances and desecrated corpses and put their sliced-off eyelids in a secret box and... it's complicated. So complicated, in fact, that it requires a kindly minister who's seemingly also spent a lot of time using Ouija boards and dabbling in the Black Arts to come in and try to explain it. And even he gets it wrong.

What Doesn't Suck About It: Virginia Madsen, Martin Donovan (as the dad) and Elias Koteas (as Reverend Weirdo Answer Guy) are all real actors who can't seem to dumb it down even though they know they probably should. So though they're swimming in a sea of mediocrity they're still paddling as fast as they can.

Another Thing That Doesn't Suck About It: It looks cool. Whoever designed the creepy ghosts and corpses and the giant chantarelle mushroom thing should be commended on an icky mission accomplished.


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