Cold Creek Manor Review

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Wealthy New Yorkers, kids in tow, move to a dilapidated repossessed manor house which they soon discover has both the requisite Bad History and, in Stephen Dorff's twitchy ex-con, The Angry Former Occupant.


This should be titled Mike Figgis Pays The Bills. Having broken impressive new ground in digital video cinema (Timecode), Figgis returns to studio work with this disappointingly sub-par genre effort, about a family that move into a possibly haunted house that may or may not be suffering from sinister former tenant syndrome.

Figgis gracefully sets up an enjoyably forbidding atmosphere as documentarian Quaid's ongoing discoveries increase the tensions, but the simply not-scary-enough Dorff fails to build on this – and he's certainly not aided by Figgis' unsubtle score. Following a genuinely unnerving (but wholly illogical) set-piece involving snakes, the film falls into a miasma of genre clichés from which it never re-emerges.

Given that it has Mike Figgis calling the shots, it's remarkable just how conventional Cold Creek Manor looks as well as plays. There's none of his usual visual invention, and the heard-it-all-before story turns on tired twists and overplays the jumps.