American movie directed by the Pang brothers (The Eye, Bangkok Dangerous). Jess (Kristen Stewart) is a teenage girl getting a fresh start on a South Dakota farm with her family: little brother Ben (Evan and Theodore Turner), mother Denise (Penelope Ann Miller), and father Roy (Dylan McDermott). She’s at odds with her parents for an incident of drunk driving, so when she begins seeing (and being attacked by) ghosts, the ‘rents are less than willing to hear her out. But Jess has an ally in Ben, who also sees them, although he doesn’t talk. Together they have to figure out why the ghosts won’t leave them alone.
I experienced a lot of ups and downs watching the film; the things I liked were balanced out by the things I disliked. The pacing is somewhat slow in the beginning (after the opening scene of a family being murdered in the house), but it’s not boring. Most of the characters are fairly likable, despite Jess being a bit of a whiner—she’s super teen angst-y, given to exclaiming what feels like every five minutes, “You never listen to me!”
But I couldn’t stand Denise from the very beginning, when she’s established as a worrier and overly critical of Jess, who has clearly learned her lesson. I also hated that the family lets a drifter that they just met (John Corbett) stay in the house.
The movie has its creepy moments. Ben has that eerie little kid habit of staring into space—what are they looking at? Well, apparently it’s ghosts you can’t see. Since he doesn’t talk, Ben can see the ghosts but not notify anyone of what he’s seeing. When Denise asks him, “What does it look like?” he pulls his lower eyelids down and grimaces. However he doesn’t seem to be disturbed by the spirits, just interested. There’s even a scene when he’s laughing and chasing one, which is rather cute. In the end, I was disappointed by the ghosts and the movie in general. It’s certainly not the worst of its kind, but nor is it the best. Check it out if you’d like to see Kristen Stewart unaccompanied by sparkly vampires.