Cold Creek Manor (2003)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Sep 19, 2003 (USA)  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - Canada, United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Brian J. Dillard

Somewhere in this high-concept muddle of class warfare, yuppie angst and aborted infidelity lurks a fun little gothic chiller. Juliette Lewis and Stephen Dorff provide pitch-perfect trashy victim/villains, while Sharon Stone and Dennis Quaid hit all the right notes as an upper middle-class couple seeking some respite from go-go New York. The problem with Cold Creek Manor, then, is that instead of relegating all of its cultural baggage to the background, it brings it forward and, eventually, over the top. It's a romantic drama masquerading as a horror story rather than the other way around. How else to explain the generally limp haunted-house set-pieces and the focus on run-of-the-mill relationship angst? If screenwriter Richard Jefferies and director Mike Figgis trusted more in the conventions of psychological horror and focused on executing them with understated flair, this could have been an edge-of-your-seat delight. As filmed, though, Cold Creek Manor is more like warmed-over One Night Stand, all clever contrivances and pat resolution.