Today: February 25, 2024

Rosewood Lane

Troubled radio chat show psychiatrist Sonny Blake, returns to her hometown a year after her estranged Father’s death.

Troubled radio chat show psychiatrist Sonny Blake, returns to her
hometown a year after her estranged Father’s death.
The odd behavior
of the local paperboy Derek arouses her suspicions but nothing can prepare her
for the truth she’s about to uncover.

Back in 2001
writer/director Victor Salva brought us the unexpectedly terrifying Jeepers
, he returns to horror once again for his latest movie Rosewood
although somehow manages to forget to bring the scares.

Dr Sonny Blake
might give people advice for a living but she is in desperate need of taking
control of her own life and laying her ghosts to rest. Whilst nobody actually
says it there is the underlining insinuation that her Father was an abusive ma,
but this sub-plot, along with some of the supporting characters, are forgotten
from the narrative before the end of the movie with no resolution.

The central
premise is a golden oldie, the horror genre has had good mileage out of ‘the
evil next door’ set up and it’s used to good effect but there is a distinct
lack of suspense. One scene has Derek slowly reciting nursery rhymes over the
phone and instead of the desired creepy effect it just seems awkward.

Horror is one
genre that regularly falls under criticism for having one dimensional characters
and to the film’s credit a brave attempt to make Sonny a full rounded person is
made. However, this gives way to far too many scenes of her sitting around with
her friends and the movie becomes more of a drama and less the horror expected
or promised.

Suddenly in the
third act the movie seems to remember it’s a horror and things are taken up a
notch but the suspense-free drama that unfolds in the first 60 minutes is just
not compelling enough to make the audience care about any of the characters. Rose
does the best with the material and it’s always good to see her in
a starring role but even she seems bored by the slow pace and baffling plot

There’s a good
supporting cast, which consists of Lauren Vélez (Dexter), Ray
(Twin Peaks), Lin Shaye (Kingpin), Lesley-Anne
, and there’s even a cameo from Rance Howard (father of director Ron
Howard). All of them are fine additions to the cast but none of them are given
much screen-time.

There’s the sense
that this didn’t quite turn out as Victor Salva intended, having expertly
handled dark roads and winged monsters in Jeepers Creepers you’d think he would
have a field day with this. A creepy paperboy as the antagonist is horror gold,
but sadly Derek (Daniel Ross Owens) is no Norman Bates and comes across
more like an angst ridden love struck teen than a psychotic killer.

In 2008
writer/director Bryan Bertino gave us the low key but brutal The
, a tightly made home invasion thriller that was a masterclass in
how to make suspenseful small budget horror. Had Rosewood Lane been crafted
more like The Strangers it could have been a great little film and Victor Salva
knows how to put the frighteners on an audience so it’s shame he misses the
mark with his latest offering.

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