The Dark Reviews
Things start very well. Ancient welsh folk lore surrounds Maria Bello and her daughter on a trip to visit the girls father Sean Bean in rural Wales before the young girl vanishes and the whole story begins to fall apart. The early going of the movie has a good amount of creepiness and tension, even prompting for a bit of cushion-reaching from time to time. It's once the daughter disappears that so does any semblance of sense within the movie.
New characters show up and talk rubbish, strange characters are revealed to know more than they are letting on and the film gradually slides away into incomprehension which leaves the viewer largely lethargic to what is going on. The idea that the girl has been traded for another soul in the land of the dead is intriguing but it's so muddled up with themes of child battery and revenge that it just doesn't really feel like it's done justice to.
Adding to the film's woes are the dreadful performances and dialogue. The only chemistry Bello and Bean have is that their namers both begin with the letters B and E. They are not believeable as having ever been a couple and in a film centered around a couple losing their daughter, this is a major stumbling block.
On a mildly plus side, Wales looks gorgeous, if cold and the girl playing the daughter is reasonable, probably why the part of the movie which focuses on her in the beginning is the best part.
Some good ideas and moments can't save the film completely though, and the twist ending feels a little bit half baked as though someone thought it was a neat idea and just tagged it on after the rest had been written for six months.