The Agnes Merlet Dorothy Mills

The Agnes Merlet Dorothy Mills
Considering what an epic failure the remake of The Wicker Man was both critically and commercially it seems odd that someone would willingly make a movie that's not only similar but thematically less interesting. We have the requisite small community of religious nuts that love wearing animal masks for ritualistic reasons, secret gatherings and the occasional gang rape, but nowhere is there a naked Britt Eklund doing an extended, and explicit, tribal dance, or Nicolas Cage ninja kicking Leelee Sobieski across a room. Without these bizarre and amusing elements all that's left is a bland genre offering with a perfunctory mystery and familiar set up. Taking on the Nicolas Cage role is Carice Van Houten (some might remember her from Verhoeven's WWII flick Black Book), who portrays Jane, a psychiatrist sent from the mainland to investigate the bizarre murder of a baby at the hands of a teenaged Dorothy Mills (Jenn Murray). Jane quickly learns that Dorothy has a multiple personality disorder and is seen by the locals as some sort of gateway to communicate with the dead. It's abundantly clear that the locals have a secret when animals turn up randomly slaughtered and Jane receives warnings and attitude aplenty. The only question left is "what does it have to do with young Dorothy?" While Dorothy Mills is ultimately a pretty dull affair, unlikely to appeal to anyone, Carice Van Houten has a presence and grace on screen that demand attention. Her appeal, however, is not enough to make the film worth checking out, as despite the competency and professionalism of the production there simply isn't enough story or tension to warrant its hour-and-40-minute runtime. Special features on the DVD include only a trailer. (E1)