Projections - Movie Reviews
Cold Creek Manor
Cold Creek Manor
Starring Dennis Quaid, Sharon Stone, Stephen Dorff,
Juliette Lewis, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Wilson
Cold Creek Manor is purported to be this fall's big thriller, but it comes nowhere close to recent films like Panic Room. The trailers indicate something supernaturally eerie, but Mike Figgis' foray into the genre is a weak variation on "leaving the city" films like Straw Dogs.

Figgis, a talented director of Internal Affairs, doesn't seem to be in sync with scenarist Richard Jefferies. Little social or sexual tension builds as the identity of the evil presence is divulged much too early and insight into the lead character is left dangling like bad grammar.

The music orchestrated by Figgis turns things into a laughable detective story as the principal characters act increasingly dumb. Dennis Quaid is affluent documentary film maker Cooper Tilson who instantly decides to leave his New York City brownstone because his son is nearly run down while beautiful wife Leah (Sharon Stone) is on a career-related flight. He opts for the country residence of Cold Creek Manor.

The former homeowner, Dale Massey, a menacing, gruff ex-con, played by Stephen Dorff (Blade), arrives looking for a job. And he persuades them to let him do some landscaping. He looks to be coming on to Leah with his shirt off though he has a smutty girlfriend (Juliette Lewis) in a trashy trailer park.

The screenplay would indicate that Leah's needs aren't all met and Cooper has a problem with alcohol. And Christopher Plummer is manipulated for the plot's agenda which includes a scene where snakes appear all throughout the house to give the Tilsons a rise.

Figgis again employs Declan Quinn to make the lensing frame out the conflict between the locals and the not so innocent newbies, but the result is often lifeless and dull. Long before the rainy improbable "high point" comes, Cold Creek Manor has crashed through its scruffy genre conventions and Stone's comeback makes her look like a deer caught in the headlights.

Cold Creek Manor

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