Published Sep 01, 2003It's not just that this film is terrible (and it is terrible), it's that it felt like a big bunch of nothing, like they weren't even trying. There's never any question about who the bad guy is (here's a clue, it's the red neck who shows up about 30 minutes into the film, played by a fellow with the initials Stephen Dorff) or even what mysterious crime they'll discover. I didn't expect greatness from Cold Creek Manor but thought Mike Figgis would direct a better picture. At the very least I thought he would attempt something inventive with split screen and film stock. The promise of Miss Julie falls flat, though. This is a "straight to video" movie with a big budget and less imagination.
City life proves too dangerous for Cooper (Dennis Quaid), Leah (Sharon Stone) and their kids so they move to the country. They find a rundown mansion the aforementioned Cold Creek with all the previous owners possessions left untouched. Seems the townsfolk aren't too accepting of city slickers and life is made difficult. A child's poem about the "Devil's Throat" doesn't add up to much either. It could have been silly horror movie fun but it's just a bunch of stuff that happened; they give us a taste of intrigue then don't act on it.
The only person who comes out looking okay is Christopher Plummer, as a bedridden patriarch. His few scenes are creepy and weird (in the right way) and set up promising scenarios. There's no payoff, of course. Perhaps this is why Plummer is almost unrecognisable I didn't even realise until the credits rolled that it was him. He was smart enough to take his money and run. (Touchstone)