The Messengers

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner4/04/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Derivative but enjoyable horror flick with stylish direction, an intriguing mystery and strong performances from its cast.

What's it all about?
Kristen Stewart (Panic Room) stars as 16-year-old Jessica Solomon, who moves to an old abandoned farmhouse in darkest North Dakota with her parents Roy and Denise (Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller) and her 3-year-old brother Ben (Evan and Theodore Turner), who has recently stopped speaking. Jessica has trust issues with her parents because of an incident that happened back in Chicago so they're not inclined to believe her when she tells them that strange, spooky things keep happening in the house, even though her brother keeps pointing to things that aren't there.

Meanwhile, Roy attempts to start a sunflower-growing business and he's grateful for the help of friendly local John Burwell (John Corbett), particularly when it comes to fighting off some freakishly aggressive crows.

The Good
The Pang Brothers (who made The Eye) invest their English language debut with a distinctive sense of style, maintaining a constant creepy atmosphere that is both suspense-laden and unsettling.

Kristen Stewart is superb as Jessica, although you'd think she'd try just that little bit harder to persuade her parents that she's telling the truth - in fact, if the film has a fault, it's in refusing to exploit the possibility that Jessica might be making it all up. The film boasts some extremely impressive toddler-wrangling and a strong supporting cast. There's also a cameo from William B. Davis that will delight X-Files fans.

The Bad
The Messengers is extremely derivative and its two scariest sequences are completely ripped off from other films (specifically The Birds and The Ring). However, that said, the scenes are still scary and do not seem out of place in the film.

Worth seeing?
Some of the scenes may seem overly familiar, but this remains an engaging, well acted horror flick that is both stylish and genuinely suspenseful. Worth seeing.

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The Messengers
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Content updated: 20/02/2020 17:08

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