- Director: John Polson
- Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller, Horror
- More Details and Credits »
Amalia8A new way to scare people, is not just a stupid monster film, is psychologica fear, good acted and creepy.
matta.6I think that most critics are missing the point. Yea, the screenplay isn't exactly first-rate and De Niro isn't as good as he used to be, but these kind of movies are out to win oscars, they supposed to scare the shit out of you, and frankly, I was scared, or better yet, disturbed. This was mostly due to Dakota Fanning's performance, which is nothing short of incredible for a child her age. Again, nothing amazing here, and the ending is contrived and a little maddening, but take it for what it is and you won't be all that disappointed.… Expand
MarkB.3Little Dakota Fanning has got to be not only the most well-adjusted child actress in Hollywood history, but the most emotionally healthy and stable youngster in America PERIOD. Not only did she spend 90% of her screen time in War of the Worlds screaming at and running from Martians, but earlier this year was dealing with parental death, psychotic imaginary playmates and 87 other varieties of childhood trauma (to say nothing of having to look and dress like The Addams Family's Wednesday, only with brown sweaters instead of black dresses) in this derivative, mean-spirited horror movie frrom the director of Swimfan. (I'm sure Orson Welles never had a #1 box office weekend as a director, but this hack gets two different ones. Is there no justice in this world or what?) The usual array of pseudo-ominous tracking shots and cheeseball false alarms is made even more predictable by the fact that two of Robert DeNiro's lovely, talented costars, Elisabeth Shue and Amy Irving, are former Oscar nominees who've clearly seen better days, which gives you an idea of the thanklessness of their roles AND the relative length of their screen time. (Melissa Leo, of TV's acclaimed Homicide: Life on the Streets, also turns up, giving a performance that's both creepy and touching...and way too good for this.) Chances are you'll alternate yor viewing time between exclamations of "Man, those filmmakers are sick puppies!" and "Just how stupid do they think we are?" A couple of rather original jolts (such as Dakota's flip-movie book) make this vaguely better than DeNiro's last horror outing, the rock-bottom Godsend...but that's like saying that sawing your thumb and forefinger off in a workshop accident is preferable to losing your whole hand. And by the way, remember when DeNiro's appearance in a non-Scorsese film was a virtual guarantee that you were STILL going to see something terrific--be it an ambitious epic like The Mission, a guest turn in The Untouchables or even a purely commercial action-comedy like Midnight Run? The (hopefully not) late, lamented IFC game show Ultimate Film fanatic had a trivia category last year entitled "DeNiro: The Sellout Years"; if the writers of that category had known at the time of this and Godsend, they might well have altered the title to "DeNiro: The Whorehouse Years"!… Expand