Marketed as a creepy, haunted house-type horror flick, Cold Creek Manor is anything but. It is a bland attempt at a thriller, marked by a variety of cliches and overplayed, absurd situations.
When previews began showing for the picture, it was made to look genuinely scary, with stormy nights and classic creepy-house appeal. But upon viewing, it was a complete disappointment. It resembles more of a dramatic thriller, and a bad one at that.
The movie stars Sharon Stone and Dennis Quaid as a hot-shot couple from New York City who decide to pack up and leave the city after their son is hit by a car. Along with their two children, they venture upstate and find an abandoned mansion at a steal of a price.
Things are all well until the previous owner of the house (Stephen Dorff) mysteriously shows up, fresh off a three-year jail sentence. The battle that ensues pits Dorff against the family, in a fight to the death to reclaim his house.
Despite this movie’s impressive cast, it does not live up to its potential. More than an hour and a half of the movie is devoted to building up to the only worthwhile scene: the ending.
The poorly-written plot is weak and lacks depth; we never find out why Dorff’s character went to jail, why he turns out to be so mentally unstable, and why at least a half dozen characters are included in the movie in the first place.
Terribly generic horror-film music is played at the most inappropriate times, the cinematography is something of a decade ago, and the movie lacks real action and scary moments. Cold Creek Manor is the epitome of cheaply-made thrillers.
Ross Bercik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.