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And for the record, no I didn't watch this movie fearing it would be Slender Man ripoff. I was actually more feared it would be a ripoff of Phantasm.
Remember that film Drive? Remember how it was marketed as a "Fast and Furious" type film about gun shootouts and car chases? And remember the woman who sued the producers over it being more of an art house movie (of course she got zero support from cinephiles and her ase was dismissed faster than you could say "five minute window")? Well, this film is sort of similar in that regard. It's horribly marketed as a horror, yet it's more of a lifetime channel lite soap opera about kids being abducted. The difference? Drive was a good movie, if slightly overrated. This film, I can't say the same thing sadly.
The first half is a horror/suspense movie, but sadly it wastes such potential and turns into a drama about poor people having kids in the second half. I guess Biel's acting is alright, but even she can't carry the film. The twist is revealed halfway through, where Biel is apparently the figure abducting kids, but it's dull and predictable from the first frame. Theheavynhanded narration doesn't help matters either, and that narration at the end and the last line ("I made the right choice... right? Right? Right?!") are such a punch in the face.
The biggest problem? Its Family Unfriendly Aesop. So apparenty parents that are poor deserve to have their kids taken away frm them, and have said kids put in the homes of complete strangers who shower them with riches and all these toys, right? It's a horrible message to get across. The film's makers seem to not understand children. You can take them away fromtheir parents and shower with them with all the riches as much as you like, but they'll whine and cry until the cows come home.
I will say the location/geography was nice and pretty looking, some shots were just plain beautiful, like a painting in itself. Yet even that isn't enough to save the movie from being a complete mess. Avoid at all cost.
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