Similar in tone to co-writer Guillermo Del Toro's PAN'S LABYRINTH —
but without the historical setting or fascism critique — this is a
movie that wants to be scary, yet lets its good taste get in the way.
It's as if DRAG ME TO HELL were remade as an art film, all brooding
architecture and muted conversation. Yes, there are monsters and
screams and ominous whispers in the dark. But this house-of-demons
tale (with its inevitable here-we-go-again coda) is stale stuff. Guy
Pearce and Katie Holmes barely register as the parents. The kid,
Bailee Madison, does ok — she's like an eleven-year-old Christina
Ricci. But it isn't clear whether her ordeal comes simply from being
unwillingly plopped down into a long-haunted mansion — or if the
savagery is somehow brought forth by the little girl's emotional
imbalance as a child of divorce. Turgid and forgettable. — Jeff Schultz

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