Leah Tilson and husband Cooper (Stone and Quaid) want out. The New York rat race is killing them. Trade the urban inferno for a gentle life in the sticks and save their souls and marriage. That's the plan, and it certainly makes sense to their two kids. Still, the once grand, now shabby mansion they light on is an odd place with bedclothes still on beds, etc. For documentarist Cooper, it's material for his next film on a plate. But getting along with the wary locals ain't so easy - and it's soon clear that the house has a dark past. The clammy tension of the first hour vanishes as soon as the answer to the rural mystery heaves into view, and the screenplay ('We could do with some new blood in the county') is not all velvet. Contrariwise, Figgis' film has some compelling ideas to offer, and the players acquit themselves well, Quaid especially. His middle aged, middle class dad is a complex, not entirely admirable figure, and the strong women around him (even the sheriff's a gal) press the point. If the final showdown suggests advocacy of old-fashioned husband and wife collaboration, the dilemmas facing the head of the family linger on. It's a dangerous world, says the movie. What's a man to do?
Cast and crew
Dennis Quaid Sharon Stone Stephen Dorff Juliette Lewis Kristen Stewart Ryan Wilson Dana Eskelson Christopher Plummer Simon Reynolds