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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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OK, I love a film that tries to do something different and something that will not only entertain the viewer but will also create a lasting chill down their spine as they recall scenes. Upon the original read of this titles blurb I thought that it would partly be a modern interpretation on the themes of the Wicker Man and when added to a cast list that looked pretty decent left me with the impression that it was going to be an incredible film.

Alas it wasn't the case. The plot line was a little flimsy, the events within too much of a religious fervour and to be honest it grasped at straws as things that could have been done very well were only half baked. The script felt stinted in places and with a quality writer like Anthony Horrowitz on board I had expected more and yet there were places where it felt that is writing came to the fore within the explanations from the art historian. Add to this that I also felt that the time of the release could have been better concerning the events within due to an on-going Coroners Investigation and the creators could have been more sympathetic.

All in it was an OK film but with the cast they had when backed with the writer it should have been so much more.
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on 23 January 2010
An Ancient church, dating back to the 1st century A.D is discovered after a tragedy occurs. An art historian,Simon Kirkman(Stephen Dillane) is sent to research its authenticity, as eminent memebers of the Anglican church believe it ties in with a visit to Glastonbury by Joseph of Arimathea around the same time. What Kirkman discovers is a lifesize stone carving of the crucifixion, with other figures carved into the wall. Meanwhile, Kirkman's wife Marion(Kerry Fox) knocks a young American woman over in her car, and accompanies her to the local hospital. The woman's name is Cassie Grant(Christina Ricci), and she appears to be suffering from concusion following the accident. The Kirkman's take her in, until she regains her memory, and Cassie bonds with the Kirkman's two children. However, Cassie starts to experience frightening visions and fears for her sanity. As she delves deeper into the history of the village however, terrible secrets from the past start to emerge, and why do the same group of people keep following her around?
This film really can't be accused of lack of ideas or originality, as it has both of those in spades. Its a complicated, highly interesting story and although it has a strong religious subtext, you don't need to have a faith to enjoy it, as it also works as a supernatural mystery. There is a fine group of British actors on display here, and American import Ricci is very good in the lead role. If you fancy something a little bit different from the usual British horror film, then look no further than this film, as it is very different from the norm. 4 out of 5
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on 12 May 2012
Interesting idea that's basicly about curiosity and the consequences,or at least that's the way i saw it. Christina Ricci gives another fine preformance as a girl run over and taken in by the woman who ran her over and her kids,including her seemingly disturbed son. Ricchi's character gets disturbing visions of brutal deaths and also a feeling something isn't right around this place. A church,twice buried becomes a concern for some when 2 young lovers fall into it,killing them off early in the movie. It's a weird movie that slowly starts making sense and has some really good ideas for a story about religion,curiosity and a little spookiness thrown in. Don't get fooled by the front cover thinking it's going to be a gory and scary horror movie,it isn't,it just has a few moments of gore. It isn't what i'd call a horror,it's just a little chilling i suppose,in that there's some odd goings on in this place,but as i say when the story of Ricchi's chracter,the church and religious history comes together,it's a really interesting film. Not brilliant,but well worth a watch if you can get your head around it.
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on 20 November 2013
"Should have been so much better" really sums this up. Big Hollywood names (Ricci, Gruffud) rubbing shoulders with British character actors (Robert Hardy), screenplay by Anthony Horowitz, interesting "high concept" ideas - but comes across on the screen like one of those creaky made-for-TV "House of Hammers". Maybe if the budget had been bigger, maybe if the writing had been tighter (some awfully big plot holes and/or coincidences when you really think about it), maybe if the "twist" hadn't been so obviously telegraphed, maybe, maybe, maybe...
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This 2003 thriller/horror begins with American girl Cassie Grant (Christina Ricci) being knocked down in rural England and showing few injuries is soon released from hospital and takes work as nanny to the children of the woman who ran her over. To add to the mix, the woman' husband Simon Kirkman (Stephen Dillane) is authenticating a recently discovered 1st century A.D church which contains a life-size stone carving of the crucifixion viewed from behind, with other figures carved into the wall beyond looking on. Cassie soon bonds with the Kirkman's two children but starts to experience disturbing visions and fears for her sanity and the safety of the boy, Michael, who also seems disturbed by visions. Her apprehensions grow as she delves deeper into the history of the village and the feeling something isn't right around the place becomes more apparent.
The film starts off strongly with multiple shocks/jumpy moments and leads you in varying directions as it progresses but the outright scary horror you expect at the beginning soon dissolves into the more supernatural realm as Cassie settles into the house and experiences her visions, but it's not a `pagan rites' or `good vs evil' plot, rather it's a highly interesting story using a strong religious theme to create a spooky mystery. However, this is no `horror' but is more of a psychological suspense thriller as she tries to figure it all out.
Don't get me wrong, although the plot seems to slow down after a great start it's still a great little movie but it does set your expectations too high at the start but after all is said and done, this is rated age 15, NOT 18. Whilst the acting is fine, there is a lack of tension in places which could quite easily have made this more scary with a little more thought. Even though the disc has no features other than play and scene selection as a 15 rating it's a good ***** but a bit lazy in places.
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on 27 August 2012
The ever watchable Christina Ricci graces olde England with her presence in this eerie supernatural horror film set in darkest rural England. Though, initially, I thought we might be treated to some hoky "pagan rites" type plot line the story veers off in quite an original way to do with obscure, er...Christian rites and folklore...replete with quotations from apocryphal scripture. Whilst managing to avoid the equally hoky "good versus evil" scenario,the story does deal with the theological implications of human evil. Something like the Catholic horror films of Abel Ferrara mixed up with a bit of M.R. James...Worshippers at the shrine of the delectable Ricci will also be blessed...say no more...brethren...
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on 7 July 2011
I really enjoyed this film . Made on the Isle of Man which doubles for west country England.
I enjoyed the unfolding story which though fairly fantastical did offer a different take on old religious ideas.
As horrors go it was moderately intelligent and through the eyes of the young female lead (Ricci) we take a journey which engages the viewer as it unfolds . I give this a four star rating (just). If, like me you prefer British made films
and are willing to suspend belief for an hour and half you might enjoy this too.
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on 5 October 2014
This wanted to be the Wicker Man and it wasnt at all. Its not awful BUT its not a horror. Ricci was dreadfullt miscast. This was her odd peiord where she did alot of rubbish. Gruffydd also seemed a weird lead choice. Fox was the only redeeming feature. Who would invite a stranger into the house?????
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on 6 October 2014
It is difficult to know where to begin with reviewing this film. It's possible that, done differently, this film might have worked. Had there been something really compelling in the story, some deft handling of plot elements, some really convincing dialogue, this film might have been good.

However:

The acting of the two leads is bad - eye-rollingly so - and the most compelling actors in the film are cast in minor roles. The story-telling is poor. The plot unfolds unevenly, dashing over important strands without fleshing them out and lingering over simple ones. Genre-wise, it is ambiguous, religion and pseudo-mythology dressed up in horror packaging - but staggeringly unhorrific horror.

So yes. A waste of an idea.
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on 7 August 2015
Just watched this film on the horror channel and thoroughly enjoyed it so I decided to purchase.
Very refreshing to watch a film with a different plot line and a ' twist in the tale '.
Atmospheric, ' spooky ' and very well produced and acted.
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