From Within (2009)

I’m still sleepy and still don’t have too much to say. I liked this, but I really really wanted it to be better. There are a lot of places where it falls a bit flat. Taken individually, everything seems right — the music is good, there aren’t distracting artsy camera tricks, everyone knows how to act. Even the dialogue isn’t bad. But somehow all of the good components don’t add up to a great movie.

One thing it does have going for it is its impressive cast. Jared Harris seems to keep popping up in things I’m watching, along with (here a rather young) Thomas Dekker. I almost didn’t recognize Britt Robertson since they (realistically) have her wearing very little makeup for this role.

And that impressive cast does just fine. There’s no one who sticks out as a bad actor and nobody was trying too hard. In fact, they were all trying just hard enough to call their performances just fine. There’s no heart in it, and no chemistry between anyone on screen…well, except for Trish (played wonderfully — better than just fine — by Laura Allen). There was definitely heart in her performance, and I found her to be the most realistic (and sympathetic) character of the lot.

But the pacing is slow, and combined with the listless performances this made the scares less than scary. Also, this movie is really quiet. (Spoilers ahead) There are long periods of time where no one is talking, people are just staring silently at the ghostly image of themselves driving them to suicide. So it’s slow and quiet and what should be a relatively interesting, creepy story becomes a boring anecdote about a town with “a curse.”

I wasn’t even surprised by the reveal because, I mean, obviously. By that point I was almost hoping for MY evil twin to show up. Okay, that’s not true. There’s something here, I’m just not sure the best parts of that story were told. That leaves this movie feeling overall uninspired and mediocre. Actually, there’s one scene that stuck with me…watching Adam Goldberg light that girl who was on Even Stevens on fire. That shit was crazy.

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