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This film contains an absurd, maddening entity, a creepy dead child, and lots of water. That said, this is the antithesis of The Ring, or any other contemporary horror. This is a fun, old school horror film, and like all the horror greats, has, at it's center, a man with a crisis of faith.
John Cusack is pitch perfect in this role, as a burned out writer who doesn't believe in anything, but has found mild success writing horror travel guides. A large portion of the film is in real time, which is both refreshing, and adds to the anticipation and suspense. And most of the film is just John Cusack. But he really outdoes himself here, and is a joy to watch.
This is reminiscent of classic British horror, high on atmosphere, low on gore, jumps, and other MTV like effects, but also has a striking, sometimes humorous, Becketesque edge. And like Beckett, while at first it may appear nihilistic, at it's heart is hope.
In the current trend of torture porn, and heartless remakes, perhaps the most refreshing thing is to have a horror film that is not concerned with body count, but with spirituality.
And largely because of Cusack's performance nothing seems forced.
A few of the effects come off a little silly, and some of it sort of lags, but for a fun, enriching horror film, like the ones they used to make in the good old days, see this film.