Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA/Canada, 2003. Touchstone Pictures, Red Mullet, Cold Creek Manor Productions, Red Mullet Productions. Screenplay by Richard Jefferies. Cinematography by Declan Quinn. Produced by Mike Figgis, Annie Stewart. Music by Mike Figgis. Production Design by Leslie Dilley. Costume Design by Marie-Sylvie Deveau. Film Editing by Dylan Tichenor.
Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone play a big-city couple who decide to move out to the country when life in the metropolis proves to be too exhausting and dangerous, she giving up her job to be the perfect housewife in their giant country manor whose previous owners foreclosed on the mortgage. Things seem to be coming along beautifully, until the previous owner (Stephen Dorff) shows up looking for a job as a handyman on the estate. Initially accepting his offer, the family is horrified when they discover that he is actually a sociopath who is ready to do absolutely anything to get his house back. Mike Figgis has no end of fun using scare tactics to tell this gothic, moody story, and uses them all effectively, the stormy photography and terrific pace all conspiring to make a thriller that genuinely gets under your skin. Stone looks better than she has in years and gives a marvelously energetic performance, while Dorff is very effective at scaring you out of your skin. Also features a cameo appearance by Christopher Plummer and a fun supporting performance by Juliette Lewis.