Director: Luis Berdejo
Starring: Ivana Baquero, Gattlin Griffith, Samantha Mathis, Kevin Costner and Noah Taylor
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
New Daughter, The (2009)
When I think of Kevin Costner I associate him with bad movies about Indians, bad movies about baseball and bad movies about ghosts. Now I can add bad movies about Indian burial grounds to that list. Seems Kevin has a liking for the natives. The New Daughter is the directorial debut of Spanish screenwriter Luis Berdejo and, unfortunately, his inexperience shows.
The story is as old as time. Or at least as old as creepy old houses. A family moves to some isolated dream house only to discover that things want to eat, stab or scare them. In this case a single novelist dad moves into a new house with his teenage daughter and young son after a nasty divorce. His once loving and delightful daughter turns into a crazy bitch that strolls around at night to roll around outside in the mud and twigs. She also brings home straw puppets that look like they belong in the Blairwitch’s playpen for soon to be devoured children. Naturally there is a family cat looking to disappear. Could it be the Indian burial mound on the property causing all the bizarre activity? Impossible.
Maybe I’m being a bit too hard on this movie. It wasn’t really all that terrible, but like a lot of modern horror movies, the house of cards comes tumbling down in the last 20 minutes or so. It’s like realizing that you’re not getting the happy ending with your massage after all. At times the movie threatens to build up some suspense, but usually it fizzles away again through some silly acting or character behavior that doesn’t make sense.
As far as creepy house movies goes The New Daughter isn’t exactly a well crafted masterpiece just waiting to attain cult status. It’s more like Nikie trainers hand woven by Chinese orphans getting paid 10c an hour and a foot rub: similar to the real thing, but not quite the same. If you’re looking to be scared in much the same way that you’re afraid of Aunt Hilda that keeps knitting you sweaters for Christmas, then this is your movie.
I give The New Daughter a survivable 6 / 10… and things that go omnomnom in the night in this review.