The Hamiltons (2006)★★☆☆☆


About thirty minutes into this film, I was convinced it was going to be the first movie to only rate 1 out of 5. It was bad enough that I almost stopped watching completely. But I figured I’d need to suffer through a few awful films throughout the year, and this might as well be the first.

Well, while I’m not glad I decided to finish this movie, it did get somewhat better near the end. Watchable, at least. Enough to rate at 2 out of 5 overall.

I remember thinking early on in the film that it was hard to tell whether the dialogue was bad or the acting, and then realizing later that it was a bit of both. I get the sense that any of the actors would do fine in another cast, but this group had no chemistry (which made it hard to buy them as any kind of loving family).

This also isn’t your typical horror movie. (Mild spoilers ahead) Rather than watching some evil antagonist prey on innocent victims, you’re essentially watching a coming of age story from the evil antagonist’s perspective. It’s a neat idea, but doesn’t really work here. The pacing was weird and since the cast didn’t have believable chemistry, it was hard to be sympathetic to the family’s troubles. Ultimately The Hamiltons is kind of a mess…and one that isn’t particularly scary or sweet.

On the plus side, the opening scene set an awesomely scary tone, the background music was surprisingly well done, and the understated title screen and opening credits were quite promising. Sadly, it all went downhill from there.