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"THE MESSENGERS"
(2007) (Kristen Stewart, Dylan McDermott) (PG-13)

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QUICK TAKE:
Horror: Unhappy to have moved with her family from Chicago to a North Dakota farm, a sullen teen begins to question her sanity when she starts seeing and having encounters with what appear to be ghosts.
PLOT:
Jess Solomon (KRISTEN STEWART) is a troubled teenager who's none too happy that her father Roy (DYLAN McDERMOTT) has moved her, her toddler brother Ben (EVAN & THEODORE TURNER) and their mother Denise (PENELOPE ANN MILLER) from Chicago to a remote North Dakota farm. Broke, and out of work, Roy hopes to raise sunflower seeds, and takes on drifter John Burwell (JOHN CORBETT) as a hired hand.

With little outside contact beyond teen townie Bobby (DUSTIN MILLIGAN), Jess spends most of her time on the farm and in the old farmhouse. There, things not only go bump in the night, but they've also drawn the attention of young Ben who seems to be watching and often amused by figures that no one else can see.

That is, until Jess has an encounter with ghostly dead beings in the house, a development no one else believes. Explaining her cuts and bruises as self-inflicted, her parents think she's either acting up or headed down the path of even greater problems. Yet, and despite beginning to question her own sanity, Jess knows something isn't right and tries to get to the bottom of the hauntings before it's too late for her and her younger brother.

OUR TAKE: 3.5 out of 10
Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin' might set my family free.
Sunflower fields spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep the windy city, just give me that countryside.

Chicago is where I'd rather stay.
I get scared from ghosts night and day
I adore anything that doesn't go 'boo'
Dad I love you but I'm no Scooby Doo.

(Do-Do, Do-Do-Do...) The chores.
(Do-Do, Do-Do-Do...) Haunted floors.
(Do-Do, Do-Do-Do...) Fresh air.
(Do-Do, Do-Do-Do...) Dead stares.

You are my child.
The ghosts are all riled.
Spooky Green Acres we are there.

This is a standard supernatural thriller featuring a few spooky moments, but many more genre clichés and conventions, including vengeful ghosts wanting to get even for a past wrongdoing and that scamper across walls and ceilings in a herky-jerky fashion. Screen Gems didn't show this movie to reviewers until late the night before it opened, so we're still working on this part of the review.




Reviewed February 1, 2007 / Posted February 2, 2007


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