Posted on 7/02/12 01:33 PM
Being a horror film fan from a young age, I've learned that I have to accept a lot of unusual and improbable premises, but "The Guardian" pushes that understanding to new limits. The story here is at the very least historically inaccurate and offensive, but at the worst it's simply ridiculous and makes for one silly and unconvincing film.
There is some fun to be had here, make no mistake, but mostly it's just dull and ordinary. Film lovers have come to expect a lot more from William Friedkin, master of one of the greatest horror films of all time, "The Exorcist". Even though his career has hit a lull in recent years, I didn't realize that he had fallen this far. Frankly, this is beneath him.
The cast is bland, and you have to have a pretty good memory to remember when a major studio would release a major motion picture with such a weak cast as this. Jenny Seagrove shows a little bit of life as the tree-worshipping nanny from Hell, especially in the later scenes. For the first half of the film, she's not menacing at all. There is a ridiculous scene in which the gnarly tree (giving the best performance in the film) attacks three thugs who are in the woods inexplicably looking for women to mug and rape. The deaths are cool, ind you, but you're painfully aware that the scene was included solely to up the gore quotient.
The finale is fun, with Carey Lowell battling Seagrove in some cool make-up while Dwier Brown chops down the gore-filled tree, but you have to wonder about the safety of the baby. He's tossed around like a football to the point where I thought he might be better off with the nanny. "The Guardian" is a film that should be remade. There is a lot of room for improvement.