Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Paranormal Activity 4 Movie Review

Runtime: 88 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: October 19, 2012
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

I have a confession to make: I despised the Paranormal Activity movies for a long time. I watched the first one and spent the entire film waiting for something to happen. I watched the second one and walked out halfway through it. By the time the third one came along, I was ready to give up on the franchise entirely. Imagine my surprise when I sat through all three films and discovered that they weren’t too bad.

Paranormal Activity 4 opens by rehashing the last few minutes of Paranormal Activity 2. Katie (Katie Featherstone) steals Hunter away in the middle of the night. The film then jumps ahead a few years, and Alex (Kathryn Newton) is filming her little brother’s soccer game. As she pans the camera across the field, she spots a strange little boy sitting by himself.

The same little boy starts showing up unexpectedly, hanging out in the treehouse when no one is there and acting oddly. One night, Alex hears an ambulance at the house across the street where the little boy Robbie lives. The next thing she knows, her mother Holly (Alexondra Lee, Special Unit 2) takes the little boy into their house until his mother (Katie from the other films) comes back from the hospital. Naturally, odd things start happening in their home, and Alex manages to capture the footage on cameras placed around the house.

As soon as the movie ended, my boyfriend whispered under his breath, “thank god it’s over.” It probably didn’t help that the only other people in the theater were a group of teenagers who screamed every 10 minutes even when nothing remotely scary happened. That’s my major qualm with these films: nothing ever happens. You spend most of the movie sitting on the edge of your seat and maybe one or two scares happened.

But I do have to say that I found a few things interesting in Paranormal Activity 4. I loved the use of the Kinect, and my boyfriend immediately wanted to go home and do the same thing with ours. I also enjoyed the use of laptop webcams, but I can’t imagine any computer that would continuously shoot footage all day long without anyone touching the camera. Case in point: Alex turns on the camera on her mom’s computer, which she uses in the kitchen. The woman only uses it once throughout the whole movie, and she somehow has no clue that it records her every action.

Several reviews and comments about the movie claimed that it would answer a lot of questions from the previous films, but I ended up with more questions than ever. Why would she steal her nephew only to let him go and track him down later? How many freaking people are in this weird cult, and do they all live in the same area? How the heck can Katie afford to keep running all over the place, paying for hospital treatments, renting new houses, etc. without a job?

I didn’t think Paranormal Activity 4 was a horrid film, but I expected more from it. I’m disappointed that I wasted the money to see it in the theater because it’s definitely a rental only.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Forget Me Not Movie Review

Runtime: 103 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: October 22, 2009
Director: Tyler Oliver

Forget Me Not opens with a little girl running home from a cemetery in tears, only to reach her parents with no memory of what happened. The film then jumps to the present day as a group of teenagers prepare to celebrate their recent graduation. Sandy (Carly Schroeder, Mean Creek) and her little brother Eli (Cody Linley, Cheaper by the Dozen) recently scored full scholarships to Stanford while their friends all have plans of their own.

Their friend TJ (Sean Wing) invites the group over for a party at his house. Later, they head to the cemetery seen at the beginning of the film and start playing a game they did as kids. A young woman comes out of nowhere and asks if she can play. After heading deeper into the cemetery, Sandy sees the young woman standing on the edge of the cliff. When the girl realizes that she doesn’t remember her, she says that she will soon and jumps over the edge. The police investigate but find no sign of the girl.

While it takes awhile for the film to reach this part, it quickly becomes a little more interesting. Sandy’s friends slowly begin disappearing, dying in new and unusual ways. One girl gets dumped by her boyfriend who slept with another woman the night before. After tossing his class ring in the lake, he leaves her there and she begins swimming across the lake, only to find the body of the same girl from the night before floating. It’s the last thing she sees before drowning. Another man disappears after the same girl crawls into the backseat of his car and forces him off the road.

The creepiest parts of the movie come when the audience learns that only Sandy remembers those friends. The others have no memories of the people who died. She realizes this when she sees her friend Layla having sex with another man and no one thinks she is cheating because she doesn’t have a boyfriend.

It also leads to a scene where the group finds themselves at TJ’s house, which is now abandoned and deserted. This is a great scene because as Sandy wanders through the empty and destroyed house, she flashes back to the moments they shared the night before. She can clearly see the past and the present, but she has no idea why. Even though the people around her make it clear that the present is how they remember things, she knows that something weird is going on.

I actually really liked Forget Me Not up until the end of the film, mainly because it was a little confusing. There are two possible endings to the film. One is that everything occurred because of something they did as children, and the ending becomes a little more cut and dry. The other ending is more of a psychological ending where everything that happened only occurred in her mind. No matter which ending the director intended, this is one that I could watch again.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Movie Review: Alligator X aka Xtinction: Predator X

Runtime: 90 minutes
Rating: NR
Release Date: August 18, 2010
Director: Amir Valinia

Laura le Crois (Elena Lyons, Club Dread) comes back to her home town to discover that her father is missing. He owes the bank a ton of money, and they are threatening to foreclose on his land. She has a brief run-in with Charles LeBlanc (Mark Sheppard, Supernatural, Warehouse 13), a doctor who offers to buy the land before the bank forecloses. After the two fight and he leaves, she meets with Sheriff Tim Richards (Lochlyn Munro, The Terror Experiment, The Tooth Fairy). Richards reveals that LeBlanc has started acting a little weird and doing experiments in the swamp. Do you see where this is going?

A young man and his girlfriend stop by and hire the boat. Since her dad is missing, Laura decides to lead them on a swamp tour herself, despite not being in the swamp in years. Naturally, the boat dies in the middle of nowhere and they find themselves hunted by a giant alligator. Laura begins wondering if her ex-husband, the infamous doctor, had a role in the genetic engineering of the monster.

I absolutely love creature features, especially bad ones made for television and those that go straight to DVD. Alligator X should be right up my alley, but it was so bad that I spent most of the movie rolling my eyes. Some of the reviews I read claimed that Lyons was a great actress, but I thought she did a terrible job. I’ve seen her on several television shows, most notable USA High as a teen, and she always seems to play the same snobby, stuck up character. Even here, when she’s supposed to be a poor girl who made good, she still comes across as incredibly snobby.

The one bright spot in Munro. Munro made a career playing a variety of roles in straight to DVD and low budget films, and he seems to have a preference for horror films. He actually does a believably job as portraying a man who is still in love with the girl he loved in high school, and you can believe that he is willing to do anything to save her.

Sheppard is almost as good in the film. He seems to know that this is a low budget movie, but he still puts his best foot forward. He does a great job playing a man who might have feelings for his ex-wife even though he wants to keep working on something that will change the world. If everything in the movie was as good as the acting of those two, Alligator X could be a much better movie.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bait Movie Review

Runtime: 91 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: September 1, 2012
Director: Kimble Rendell

What can you say about a movie that involves blood thirsty sharks running loose after a tsunami hits a beach town? These are the kind of movies that I love because I know that I will get a kick out of them, but Bait actually comes across as a little boring.

Josh (Xavier Samuel) opens the film, lounging on the beach with his girlfriend Tina and talking about their upcoming move. His best friend gets attacked by a shark, and while he tries to save him, the man dies. Josh then broods about his life, breaking up with Tina and quitting his job.

One year later and things aren’t looking up for Josh. Tina comes back into town with a new man, and Josh works in a grocery store, which gets held up by two men, including Doyle (Julian McMahon, Charmed). Nothing really happens until the tsunami strikes, sending thousands of gallons of water into the grocery store.

One group of survivors climbs on top of the shelves, and the group includes a cop named Todd (Martin Sacks), his shoplifting daughter Jamie (Phoebe Tonkin), Tina, her boyfriend Steven, Doyle, his partner Kirby, and two people who work there. An underground tunnel provides access to the parking garage where Jamie’s boyfriend Ryan (Alex Russell) and a couple named Heather and Kyle get stuck. Naturally, the sharks begin attacking and both groups must figure out a way to survive.

I thought the premise of Bait sounded interesting, which is why I gave it a shot, and believe it or not, it does have a few good moments. Heather is easily one of the most annoying characters, constantly carting her dog around with her. When Kyle risks his life to get away with her dog, you will find yourself screaming at him to just drop it. When he finally does, you can’t help but laugh. There’s another nice moment between the two when Heather refuses to get out of the car because of her expensive shoes, and he has to admit that he lied and said they were designer shoes.

The group in the grocery store isn’t quite as entertaining. McMahon is a great actor and a personal fave of mine, but he almost seems to sleepwalk through the movie. When he suggests making a large fishing hook to catch the shark, it’s so ridiculous that I found myself waiting for someone to make a fake drum sound.

Bait never really delivers any scares, but it doesn’t seem like it should either. Despite having a bigger budget than most of the films that I watch, it plays like a basic run of the mill creature feature made for Syfy.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

American Horror Story Asylum Season 2, Episode 1: Welcome to Briarcliff

Leo (Adam Levine) and Teresa (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Tamara) are newlyweds taking an unusual honeymoon. The two explore haunted sites, and their journey takes them to Briarcliff Manor Sanitarium, an old mental institution. Leo leads her around the building until they find one of the old examine tables.

After strapping his wife down, they start to have sex, but hear something wandering outside. They find the noise coming from behind a locked door, and Teresa promises to go down on him if he will see what’s causing the noise. As she begins going to town, he suddenly screams and drags back his arm with a bloody stump on the end.

It then jumps to 1964 and Kit Walker (Evan Peters, American Horror Story) working in a gas station. After blowing off his friends, he goes home to see his African American wife. She wants to tell their family about their secret wedding, but he’s too afraid of what people think. After having sex, Alma makes a joke about burning dinner. Lights suddenly fill the room. Just before he passes out, Kit sees that Alma disappeared.

Lana Winters (Sara Paulson, American Horror Story) is a spunky reporter who makes up a story to gain access to the asylum. Though she says she’s writing a story on the kitchen, she actually wants an exclusive interview with Bloody Face, an infamous serial killer being brought there. Sister Jude (Jessica Lange, American Horror Story) denies her request immediately. Lana still sees Bloody Face exit the police car, and we learn that it’s actualy Kit. Kit says that aliens abducted his wife, but the police believe that he killed and skilled three women.

In his first few hours at the asylum, Kit meets Shelly (Chloƫ Sevigny, American Psycho), a nymphomaniac who immediately tries to get him into bed. He also meets Grace (French actress Lizzie Brochere) and Spivey (Mark Consuelos, All My Children). Grace is nice enough to help him in the common room and bring him food when he finds himself placed in a straight jacket after fighting with Spivey who describes his wife in a derogatory term.

Sister Jude goes to see Dr. Arden (James Cromwell, The Green Mile), a man working with patients in the asylum. She mentions that several patients mysteriously disappeared, but it only seems to happen to those without any loved ones. After making up an excuse, he starts working on Kit. He finds a hard lump in his neck, which turns out to be a high-tech spider type creature that pops out and flees.

Lana goes home from the asylum and reveals that she’s a lesbian who lives with Wendy (Clea DuVall, The Faculty), an elementary school teacher. Wendy encourages her to follow her dreams, which leads to the woman sneaking back onto the asylum grounds. After something comes out of the woods, she gets knocked unconscious. She later wakes up and discovers that Sister Jude had her committed by blackmailing Wendy into signing the papers under threat of her revealing their secret relationship.

Sister Jude has secrets of her own. After applying a healthy dose of perfume and some sexy undergarments, she spends the day making dinner for Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes, Flash Forward). She confronts him over dinner about hiring a doctor at a religious hospital. Suddenly, she crosses the distance between them, straddles him, and they begin kissing. Just as suddenly, the image changes and we realize that it was a fantasy she had about him.

The end of the episode moves back to the present day. Leaving her husband bleeding on the floor, Teresa promises to come back for him. She begins running through the asylum, but she finds that the door they entered through is now locked. Just as she thinks she finds a way to escape, she discovers that Bloody Face is waiting for her.

While American Horror Story Asylum lacked the intense creepiness of the first episode of the first season, the first episode did have some great scenes. Here’s hoping that Ryan Murphy and his group can reach that intensity level in the coming episodes.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

No Tell Motel Movie Review

Runtime: 84 minutes
Rating: NR
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Director: Brett Donowho

A group of friends head off on a trip together in a motor home belonging to one friend’s parent. Each one has their own secret that they keep hidden from the others. Kyle (Andrew MacFarlane) found himself addicted to drugs after a football injury stopped him from going pro, and his brother Spencer (Johnny Hawkes) is secretly in love with Kyle’s girlfriend Megan (Chalie Howes). Meanwhile, Megan also does a pregnancy test on the trip and discovers that she’s knocked up. Somehow this is absolutely shocking and impossible for her to believe because Kyle always uses condoms, and there is absolutely no way that a teenager could possibly put a condom on wrong! There’s also a few other friends on the trip, including Corey (Angel McCord) who is a secret cutter.

After goofing off in the RV, they accidentally tip it over and find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, there is an old abandoned motel nearby where they can spend the night. Things go to hell when they begin separating and find themselves face-to-face with a little girl who actually died in a hit and run accident in front of the hotel.

Kyle is only concerned with finding more drugs and injecting himself with morphine that he finds in one of the rooms. Megan spends much of the movie pouting over her pregnancy and ignoring her boyfriend, though she is convinced he is the perfect guy for her. Poor Spencer wanders around pining over Megan, to the point where you want to grab him and shake him.

The film takes a darker turn when one of the girls sees a little girl in the road. She rushes to save her, and finds herself the victim of an accident. The group drags her body out of the road, and Megan finds herself stuck helping the man who just killed her best friend. Corey meanwhile does the smart job of trying to find some type of help, though it leads to disastrous consequences for her.

You know those movies that you watch and then you feel a little confused later? Yeah, well that is No Tell Motel. I actually wanted to like the movie, but the characters were so unbelievable that it’s hard to root for any of them. Take for example Megan. When she finds her dead friend’s body, her main concern is the fact that the girl has scars on her arms from cutting herself. Instead of showing remorse or sadness, she moans about how she never even knew the girl had a problem.

Then there’s Spencer. He might seem like the lovable goofball at first, but then it turns out that he helped Megan home one night after she passed out from drinking. While cuddling in bed with her, he decided to have sex with her. He calls it “sleeping together,” while she calls it rape, and that somehow justifies what she does to him in the end.

That doesn’t even include the drug addict and the generally unappealing other characters. The movie is also confusing at times, jumping back into the past and then showing our current characters as watching major moments unfold. There’s Mary, the mother of Angela, the little girl who died at the hotel. She finds herself chained to a table and impregnated by a man who might be her husband but might just be some random guy. It’s all just a little too much to take in.

On the plus side, the actress playing Angela is creepy as hell at times. She looks just like the spooky little girl who would haunt a rundown vacant hotel. Sadly though, she can’t carry the movie on her own, which makes me glad that I only watched it once.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Choose Movie Review

Runtime: 83 minutes
Director: Marcus Graves
Rating: R
Release Date: March 16, 2011

Choose opens with a typical teenage girl chatting online with her friend. When her dad interrupts their chat, her friend signs off and she gets ready for bed. A few hours later, she hears a noise coming from her parents’ room and goes into check on them. A masked man grabs her from behind and gives her the ultimate choice: kill her mom or kill her dad. After she makes her choice, it jumps into the main plot of the movie. Oh, and did I mention that this all takes place in the first five minutes?

If you think that beginning sounds a little like Scream, hold on because the connections just keep coming. Fiona (Katheryn Winnick, Killers) lost her mom and has a fractured relationship with her father. Her mother died a few years before, committing suicide in a motel swimming pool. She left behind a note, warning her daughter that life has choices. Do you see where this is going?

Fiona’s dad, Tom (Kevin Pollak, The Usual Suspects) is conveniently the sheriff, while Fiona is a college journalists who dreams of being a star reporter. He and his partner Benson (Richard Short, American Horror Story) are investigating the murders, and he just wants his daughter to stay away. Bruce Dern (Silent Running) also shows up as a doctor who is the connection between the killer and the reason for his killings.

You cannot help comparing Choose with Scream even if you overlook the earlier things. There’s one scene where Fiona sits in a crowded library and an unknown figure suddenly pops up and stars IM-ing her about her mother’s death. Hm, I seem to remember a similar scene in Scream 2.

That might sound like I didn’t enjoy Choose, which isn’t true. Unlike other horror movies where you have to sit through way too much exposition before the murders start happening, this one never lets up. The killer goes from victim to victim, seemingly picking people at random, and it isn’t until the end that you learn why. There’s the pianist who has to choose between losing his fingers or his hearing, and the model who has to choose between her looks or her sight. Any film that can make me blanch a little is one worth watching.

Pollak is probably the best actor in the movie. Granted, he might not be the first actor you reach for when making a horror movie, but damn if he isn’t good. He somehow makes you believe that he genuinely cares about his daughter, while at the same time make you wonder if he has something to do with the murders. Choose begins to get a little predictable towards the end, and there are some things that feel reminiscent of other movies, but it still has a solid plot that kept me entertained.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Ritual

Director: Avi Nesher
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: 2006

Alice (Jennifer Grey, “Dirty Dancing”) is a New York City doctor who has a young patient about to die. She wants to use an experimental drug, but the other doctors keep shooting her down so she uses the drug anyway. The little girl dies and Alice finds herself without a job and without a license. She finds an unusual job taking care of a sick man in Jamaica and takes off.

Paul Claybourne (Craig Sheffer, “One Tree Hill”) introduces her to his younger brother Wesley (Daniel Lapain, “Brokedown Palace”) who suffers from a rare disorder, but Wesley claims that he’s actually a zombie. She also meets Matthew (Tim Curry, “IT”), a former doctor turned veterinarian and Caro (Kristen Wilson, “Doctor Doolittle”) who mainly walks around half-dressed and seems to know everyone’s business.

Alice tries her hardest to help Wesley recover from his illness, but it’s hard given that he refuses to admit that he has a problem. He seems convinced that dark voodoo turned him into a zombie and that modern medicine cannot cure his problem. Naturally, she falls in love with him and decides to do whatever possible to help him. At the same time, she finds herself confronted with the dark underbelly of Jamaican voodoo.

“Ritual” is one of those movies that I literally stumbled across by accident. I didn’t even realize that Tales from the Crypt did a third movie, but when I saw the words Jennifer Grey and horror film, I knew I had to watch it. Here’s my secret confession: as much as I love horror movies, “Dirty Dancing” ranks as one of my favorite movies of all time. It just goes to show you that deep down I’m a girly-girl.

The movie comes across as really low budget, even for a TFTC movie. I have no clue if they actually filmed in Jamaica, but I would guess not because the movie spends a lot of time inside buildings or filming outside in close-up shots. On the plus side, there are a few good actors here. Sheffer does a great job of playing a concerned brother who might be a douche bag, while Curry is equal parts creepy and funny. Watching him parade around in a souvenir tee shirt and baggy shorts is worth sitting through the entire movie.

Before writing the review, I did a little research and discovered that this was originally a planned TFTC film, but “Bordello of Blood” did so badly that the producers removed all references to TFTC from the movie. Apparently the movie hit foreign markets in 2001+, but didn’t land in the US until 2006, and the DVD version actually has the Cryptkeeper on it. I couldn’t tell you though because I watched it on Netflix.

This isn’t the type of horror film that you take seriously. The CGI effects offer a good laugh, especially anytime any character notices vines crawling all over them, and it has an ending that you will see coming from miles away. Despite all that, it did have a few good moments. I actually got a kick/laugh out of the actual ending, which offers a little comeuppance for the main villain of the film.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Cottage Movie Review

Release Date: 2012
Directed by: Chris Jaymes
Runtime: ?
Rating: R

Michael (Victor Browne) and his wife Chloe (Kristen Dalton, “The Dead Zone”) live in a house with their two teenage daughters and toddler. They two planned to rent out the guest cottage to help pay the mortgage and since it’s been sitting empty, they need to find a renter fast. They find the perfect tenant, but a young woman shows up on the doorstep in tears. She introduces herself as the tenant’s sister Vanessa, and she tells them that her sister tragically died in a car accident.

Their quiet daughter Rose (Alana O’Mara) finds the perfect tenant online. Robert (David Arquette, “Scream”) seems like the right fit. He writes romance novels, loves peace and quiet, and gets along well with the family. Not long after her moves into the cottage, things take a darker turn.

As “The Cottage” unfolds, we learn that Michael was married before and his wife died, leaving him alone with Rose and her older sister Danielle (Morissa O’Mara). Chloe was actually Danielle’s teacher and she started dating their father not long after their mother died. Danielle hates her step-mother to the point where she explodes at a family dinner in front of Robert, making it clear that she thought her father should have mourned her mother more.

Meanwhile, Robert goes from the perfect tenant to a creepy outside practically overnight. Chloe catches him skinny dipping in the family pool one night, and when he sees her, he climbs out of the pool and takes his time walking away. He watches the teen girls just a little too long, and then tells Chloe that she should talk to Danielle about the way she dresses. Arquette is perfectly creepy as he tells the woman that her step-daughter might be a girl but he’s “just a man.”

Things take an even darker turn when Robert stops by Chloe’s friend Annie’s house. After lying to her about why he’s there, she runs inside to answer the phone and he walks right into her house. Though she tells him to leave, he comes back into the house. Robert forces himself on her, which leads to her asking him to leave again. When she threatens to call the police, he attacks her and takes her to his secret hideaway, letting the audience see just what’s going on in his mind.

“The Cottage” is one of those odd little films that you find by accident. When it was over, both myself and my boyfriend thought it was a strange film with a few nice little twists. It also has the type of ending that will leave you with some unanswered questions. How did Robert find out about the cottage? Why did he choose that family from all the other families in the neighborhood?

It also has some nice acting work, particularly from Dalton. I remember her best as Johnny’s love interest Dana on the cancelled-before-its-time “The Dead Zone,” but she looks completely different here. She’s believable as a woman stuck with two teen girls who despise her and the family she could have with her husband and new baby. Arquette also does a nice job of playing the creepy guy with a dark secret.

That is not to say that “The Cottage” doesn’t have its faults. Robert seems to pick his victims at random without any real reason. Annie does nothing to him and even seems attracted to him, but he has no problem getting rid of her early on. One teenager makes the mistake of staring at his girlfriend a little too long, while he picks another for daring to flirt with a teenage girl. While it’s not a film that I will watch again and again, it is an interesting little movie.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Tall Man Movie Review

Rating: R
Runtime: 106 minutes
Release Date: August 31, 2012
Director: Pascal Laugier

Julia Denning (Jessica Biel, “The A-Team”) is a small town nurse who took over her husband’s practice after his death. Tracy (Samantha Ferris, “Supernatural”) shows up at the clinic with her sick daughter, only to discover her daughter is in labor. Julia later talks to Tracy’s other daughter Jenny (Jodelle Ferland, “Silent Hill”) who no longer speaks. At the end of a long day, she comes home to see her babysitter and son David.

Later that night, Julia wakes to hear noises downstairs. The television blasts a religious program and she finds her babysitter tied up and bleeding in the pantry. As the woman’s eyes grow wide, Julia sees the Tall Man carrying her son out the back door. The Tall Man is part urban legend part real person who locals blame for a rash of missing children in the area. Julia rushes outside, manages to grab the back of the man’s truck, and holds on for dear life. When she finds herself face-to-face with the person who took her child, the movie suddenly goes to another level.

A friend of mine said that “The Tall Man” is like a horror movie for adults. I would agree with that to a point, but I also think that it’s a thinking person’s horror movie. This was completely not what I expected based on the previews. I assumed it would be the typical child kidnapper-dark horror movie. What I got was a movie that kept issuing new twists and turns that would take you to one place and then turns things around and send the plot in a new direction.

There were at least three times in the movie where I was sure that I knew what was going on, only to have something else happen and have things turn again. On a sad note, I made a joke a few minutes into the movie about how it should end and it actually ended that way.

“The Tall Man” is more of a thriller than an actual horror movie, but it still manages to throw a few scares and jump scenes into the mix. The boyfriend loves a good horror film and he picks on me when I jump, but this movie got him twice. I would recommend going into it with a clean slate and no expectations because it’s quite different from what the trailers showed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rosewood Lane Movie Review

Rating: R
Runtime: 97 minutes
Release Date: October 14, 2011
Director: Victor Salva

Sonny Blake (Rose McGowan, “Charmed”) is a psychiatrist with her own radio show. After her father dies by falling down the stairs to the basement, she puts his house on the market. Cut to a year later and she decides to move into the house since the housing market is so bad. The first day there, she meets the creepy paper boy Derek (Daniel Ross Owens). He offers her a cheap subscription and warns her that the offer is only good for one week.

Her next door neighbor Fred (Rance Howard) warns her to stay away from the paper boy. He also mentions that her father never said he had a daughter. Sonny admits that they didn’t get along and she even wrote a book about growing up there with her alcoholic father. Not long after, she hears a noise in the basement and finds the paper boy down there. He reminds her about the offer, laughs at her, and runs out her front door. Sonny finds herself trapped in a weird world where the paper boy can do things he shouldn’t, constantly taunts her with nursery rhymes, and seemingly can get into her home no matter what she does. Even Detective Briggs (Ray Wise, “Reaper,” “Twin Peaks”) and her ex-boyfriend/current lover Barrett (Sonny Marinelli) can’t help her.

I actually stumbled upon “Rosewood Lane” accidentally while browsing through Netflix. I love Ray Wise, and I like Rose McGowan, though I liked her a lot better before she started going crazy with the plastic surgery. This movie is actually pretty good and a lot better than some of the recent movies I watched online.

McGowan is completely unbelievable as a counselor though. She works on the radio, but she’s constantly running around in heels and skirts. My boyfriend even made a comment at one point that there’s no way she could run several blocks in over the knee boots. Wise is far more believable as the detective who thinks everything is in her mind.

“Rosewood Lane” actually had a few nice little scares. One scene that sticks out in my mind has McGowan in the basement of her house. As a car passes in front of the house, the headlights illuminate the background, showing the paper boy standing behind her. Even though I knew it was coming, it still made me jump a little.

This isn’t a fantastic movie, but it actually is pretty good. I know a lot of people have a problem with Salvo as a director given his past history, but the man can sure do a lot with a horror film. If you haven’t yet seen it or you keep putting it off, give it a try.