Molly Hartley hopes that with her mother locked away in a mental ward, she can forget the violence of her family's past and start over. She has found a new life, a new school and a new boyfriend. But when her secret past and haunting nightmares continue, Molly fears she has inherited her mother's psychosis. What she doesn't know is that she's inherited something else...a secret far more horrifying than any fate she can imagine and a destiny she cannot avoid.
It’s just a quarter into the year 2009 and already here’s one prime candidate for the ‘Worst Movie of the Year’. Indeed, it won’t come as much as a surprise if it garners a nomination for each category of the Razzies. And no, this is not the kind of movie that’s so bad it’s good; it’s the kind that’s so bad it stinks.
First in line for the firing range is first-time director Mickey Liddell. One suspects that he may have read a manual of standard horror movie tricks before making this supposed horror-thriller, because he employs literally every predictable trick in the book by the book- Cheap boo scares? Check. Sudden loud noises? Check. Out of place ghostly wraith mirror scene? Check.
But it doesn’t take long before you realise that these are mere gimmicks he employs to distract from his lack of any creative imagination. If there’s anything that’s haunting Molly Hartley, it’s unfortunately going to be lost on any audience. Just as exasperating is director Liddell’s failure to build any form of suspense throughout- so even at a brief 86 minutes, the movie plods along at a leaden pace.
Of course, he has very little to work with in the first place. The story by John Travis and Rebecca Sonnenshine is clearly inspired by the much superior The Exorcism of Emily Rose and tries to hide its unoriginality by throwing in typical teen-girl catty drama.
So while troubled high-schooler Molly Hartley (Haley Bennett), just shy of her eighteenth birthday, fears the voices she hears and the visions she sees, she also begins to take a mutual interest in the school’s pretty-boy (Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford) and thus contend with the jealousy of a blonde cheerleader type girl. Unfortunately, the Envy of Molly Hartley doesn’t blend with the Haunting of Molly Hartley so the result is just as incongruous as it sounds.
Even the cast make no effort to inject some life into the deader than dead plot. Haley Bennett is a pretty face to look at, but there is no depth to her performance as the distressed Molly Hartley. Her anguish is unlikely to garner much of your sympathy (or believability, for that matter). The rest of the pretty-teen cast, including Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford and 90210’s AnneLynne McCord, are also just as unexceptional in their dully written, poorly fleshed out roles.
In short, save yourself from this tedium. Come Razzies season, I’m putting my bet on this stinker to at the very least sweep all the nominations.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.
decent enough and the audio’s only presented in Dolby
by Gabriel Chong