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A recently divorced father (Kevin Costner) moves his teenage daughter
Louisa (Ivana Baquero) and son Sam (Gattlin Griffith) to the rural town
of Mercy, South Carolina for a fresh start. In the dark forest beyond
their new house, strange noises can be heard, and soon the father comes
to believe that there's something wrong with his daughter. Is it
connected to the strange mound of earth amongst the trees?
"The New Daughter" is not a bad movie at all, but it's not especially
great either and that's what I found so frustrating about it. It comes
so very close to being brilliant but somehow fails when it should have
succeeded. Perhaps part of the reason it fails is that it needed a
stronger leading man at its centre. The entire movie rests upon Kevin
Costner's shoulders and he seems to virtually sleepwalk through it. The
only time you see a glimmer of emotion is when he pounds his fists
gently against a wall in one scene to show his anger. The actors
playing the children are fine, even if they don't exhibit a lot of
emotive moments and simply go from A to B as required.
The director does a superb job providing a growing sense of dread at
the situation, and there are a number of scenes where he employs the
'less is more' approach, leaving it up to the imagination of the
audience as to what a dark shape amongst the trees might have been, or
what might be making a strange noise behind a closed door. The movie
has a slow, moody pace similar to movies such as "Signs" and "The
Others" which also helps to enhance the atmosphere. The special effects
in the later part of the movie are also very well done.
In conclusion, I would have to say that "The New Daughter" is 'okay'.
It's certainly worth a rental if you like slower paced psychological
horrors rather than the type of movie where everyone runs around
attempting to avoid crazed killers. There's hardly any blood, and it
does contain one or two good scares, although the plot is a bit
predictable in places. I only wish that it was more than 'okay',
because all of the elements were in place to make a far better movie
and that's what ultimately frustrates me.
Tags for The New Daughter Full Movie
, Ivana Baquero
, Kevin Costner
, Samantha Mathis
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