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1/5. Hurt has a few interesting dramatic moments, but most of this film is either boring or stupid.
No idea how to start off this review. There's no real strong angle to start on. Last couple of reviews, I've started off with a little tangent before slowly transitioning to the actual review of the film. But there's nothing here that I can talk about prior to the review. Oh well. In all honesty, this was a surprisingly decent movie. And, I've said this many, many times, I don't go in expecting a movie to be shit. But I've seen enough movies, from VHS, DVD, VOD and streaming sites to know that sometimes, you have to go in with lowered expectations. Especially when it comes to low-budget horror movies. While I wouldn't say that this was a good movie, I'm certainly surprised at how good some of its aspects were. Most of those were, obviously, related to the acting. There are no Oscar winners here, duh, but the acting is really quite strong all things considered. Pretty much everyone did a good job in their roles. They may not have been the strongest or deepest of characters, but the cast was more than good enough to help make up for some of its more lackluster technical aspects or the best of scripts. I think part of the problem is the narrative, while good at creating a family dynamic where they're all struggling to adjust to their new situation, just doesn't work as well as it could when it tries to be a 'horror' movie ala The Good Son. And it's not even that it's a horror movie, per se. But strange occurrences start to happen once they take in Sarah, a girl from a foster home. They take in this girl, who's been placed in foster care ever since her mother and father both died in a car crash, and then strange shit starts to happen. The 'kids', who are at least in their late teens at least, assume that it is their uncle, whose ranch they moved to after their father died, as he must not be happy with the living arrangements. Not to mention the fact of having to take in ANOTHER kid in such a, relatively, small house. Of course, it turns out to not be the uncle at all and all the shit that happens is caused by the girl they take in, Sarah. Surprise surprise. I bet you didn't see that coming. I guess I sort of spoiled it myself by using The Good Son as an example. But, still, you would have figured it out eventually. Particularly the big twist where it is found out that, in fact, Sarah was Lenore and Conrad's half-sister. This part of the film has some weak points, to me. I guess you could chalk it up to Sarah being absolutely irrational, but she acts as if Conrad, Lenore and Helen are the 'other' family. Sarah is, like, 13 or 14 here. So, realistically speaking, she was part of the 'other' family. And I don't mean that to denigrate her existence or anything of the sort, she's worthy of having love from her father, but her reasoning is faulty and the fact that no one in the family cared to point that out is a little weird. Again, you can point out that Sarah, who was in the car crash that killed her mother and father, the mother wanted to kill him, wasn't the most rational of people to begin with. She's got mental scars from the accident. Scars that clearly have not fully healed yet. So, now that I look back at it, it really wasn't much of a problem. I guess it's the fact that it's just such a predictable "twist", if it can even be called that. You know right from the start that Sarah is the one responsible. They never seriously entertain the idea of it being the uncle, who has the hots for his brother's widow, just wanting her kids out of the equation so he could be with her. I don't know, at least play with that concept a bit. Don't make it so obvious from the very start as to who the villain is. It makes the movie a little difficult to get into because of it. There's just no surprise. Predictability is never an issue when the rest of the film picks up that slack. Through casting or scripting, it has to make up for that. And this movie, while it has a really good cast, doesn't make up for it. Which is why I can't give it a good rating, despite the fact of it being better than I could have possibly expected. I wouldn't exactly recommend it, but if you've got a few hours to kill, this will do just fine, even if it's not a good movie.
An intriguing horror movie. It started out a bit slow but managed to genuinely creep me out. The actress that plays Sarah (Sofia Vassilieva) did a great job. For horror fans I would say it is worth a watch!
Hurt (Barbara Stepansky, 2009)
I will start this review off on a positive note, since it is likely the only positive thing I will say until I have finished this review: I liked William Mapother (The Bedroom) better here than I ever have. Mapother, a cousin of Tom Cruise, is one of the reheaded-stepchild brigade of famous-guy relatives (think Clint Howard and Joe Estevez here, among others) who often get roped into crappy movies as name stars. Mapother has always struck me as the most talented of the bunch, though he rarely has both a role with enough meat on it and a script with enough bones to allow that talent to come out. He gets the former here, and enough of the latter-Mapother's role, as socially-challenged Darryl Coltrane, the reclusive king of an auto graveyard who offers to take in his recently-deceased brother's family while they get his estate in order-is the male lead here, and he gives it far more TLC, and gravity, than it deserves, having ended up in this ridiculous mess of a movie that may even be too predictable for a Lifetime Movie Channel thriller. (Actually, for all I know, it is and I missed that bit.)
Here's the bits that matter: Coltrane's sister-in-law Helen (Magnolia's Melora Walters), her son Conrad (Jackson Rathbone from the Twilight franchise), and her daughter Lenore (Easy A's Johanna E. Braddy) find themselves at a loss when Helen's husband is killed in a car accident. Darryl offers them a place to stay, but then a lawyer pops up with a curveball: said dead husband was in the process of getting the paperwork through to foster a youngster by the name of Sarah Parsons (My Sister's Keeper's Sofia Vassilieva). News to the entire family, and Helen is about to tell the lawyer to go soak his head, but she meets Sarah and takes a shine to the girl, so despite her better judgment-she's barely able to provide for her own family until the estate is settled-she takes Sarah in. Cue the usual lots-of-teens-in-one-house tension, but there's something else going on here. Creepy stuff starts happening, but is it Darryl-who is not all that great at masking the fact that he's been carrying a torch for Helen for a lot of years-or Sarah, who may be even more of a social misfit than Darryl?
The movie's ugly, glaring, eight-hundred-pound elephant of a weakness is all too obvious within the first five minutes of the movie: by that time, you will have probably figured out every twist in the tale, assuming you've seen any half-dozen random thrillers of this stripe. It doesn't help that the much-superior Orphan was released the same year, and the two share more than a possibly-malevolent foster child. But one of the reasons Mapother stands out in this movie is that its cast, none of whom are normally slouches, all seem to be phoning it in. Much of this can probably be put down to the woeful script turned in by Alison Lea Bingeman, a longtime TV screenwriter turning in her first feature. It shows; this is far more an episode of a bad Lifetime TV series than it is a serviceable thriller. Skip it; you're not missing anything save a good William Mapother performance, one I hope he duplicates in the future in a much more deserving film. *
It's one of those movies that wasn't made for TV and yet, for some reason, seems like it was.
Interesting told story not unfamiliar to the genre.
borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring, i watched over half of thgis movieand the acting was terrible and the movie itself was slow and uninteresting. i dont know if there is ever a climax but it cant be worth sitting through the first 3/4s
quite interesting.. its just weird about having 2 families and complete crazy trying to bring other family kid into first family...
The first half of the movie was great, with unusual setting and deliberately paced characters buildup. Unfortunately, in the second half it slipped into a cliche'd territory, becoming predictable and just downright silly. It's a shame the filmmakers only had enough fresh ideas for half of a movie.
it was pretty predictable, but still enjoyable. It is not a horror flick though, it's a thriller/