release year: 2002
viewing setting: home DVD, 9/13/02
synopsis: A family inherits a house, but it's got some tenants already, and they're not friendly.
impressions: Outstanding. I didn't know what to expect from this, but it was well-done and creepy as well as thought-provoking. The ghost appearances were much like some scenes in Event Horizon (that sudden flashing effect.) I have a couple of minor complaints, all of them involving the writing of certain characters. The father took a little too long to comprehend what was going on. The son was annoying and I found myself wishing he'd bite it. The maid, though...oh, man. This was yet another example of a black character doing black things for the sole purpose of comic relief. I'd much rather see a strong black character who kicks ass or solves the mysteries. All this woman did was spout off failed witticisms, and it quickly became annoying.
Rober Ebert doesn't pay attention alert: Roger wonders in his review why no neighbors notice the goings-on at the house. Obviously he wasn't paying attention to the plot point where it was mentioned and shown that the house was in the middle of nowhere because Uncle Cyrus liked his privacy.
things to watch for: The opening scene in the junkyard was pretty cool.
cool DVD features: This DVD has a menu option where you can get a brief history of each of the ghosts. I found this to be fascinating to watch after the movie itself.
acting: See above. I thought Shannon Elizabeth had potential, especially given her babe factor, but halfway through, she (and her brother, for that matter) just disappeared, with no real explanation, and didn't return until needed at the end. Matthew Lillard did a good job as a guy who could see ghosts and their memories.
final word: Solid ghost/horror story.
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