Cold Creek Manor

Muddled mainstream chiller from Mike Figgis

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You’d imagine it’d take something special to lure Mike Figgis back from erotic experimentalism to a standard genre piece. Yet it’s hard to fathom why this hackneyed hokum pulled him in. Worse still, his odd arty flourishes only spoil any momentum it gathers on its own terms.

We’ve been here before, but…city slickers Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone and kids leave New York to live in a huge dilapidated mansion upstate. Like, have they never seen a horror movie?? It’s not long before previous owner Stephen Dorff is muscling in, eyeing up Sharon and daughter, and filling the place with snakes. Dennis tries to do a Dustin-in-Straw Dogs, but the locals rally around their local psycho. After what seems like years, we get a showdown. In a rainstorm.

It’s much too long, it rips off Cape Fear (a factor emphasised by the presence of Juliette Lewis as trailer-trash temptation), and Dorff is so obviously a nutter from the off that there’s no suspense. Quaid and Stone are great, but they can’t warm up this puny potboiler.

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