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Aroview: Peter Jackson’s errant, though wonderfully imagined murder mystery begins with the brutal death of a teenage girl in small town Pennsylvania, thereafter observing both the hunt for her killer, and her family’s struggle to cope with her disappearance from the vantage point of a spectacularly rendered afterlife.
Possessing many of the characteristics of Jackson’s cinema, in particular the way it favors the story's fantasy elements, the film’s special effects-driven asides are ultimately too dominant and irrelevant to the matters at heart, leaving viewers with a dramatically weak, unrewarding tale that promises, but never really delivers on the core themes of grief, resolve, and coping with death. Squandering its earnest ensemble cast (who are largely props in the director’s vision), this remains mostly watchable as a thriller (courtesy of a creepy Stanley Tucci), and occasionally effective as a tearjerker. Based on Alice Sebold’s widely-read novel, which fared much better with its sobering material, it has to be said.
Average rating (Good Enough). Showing 1-3 of 5 member reviews.
2 stars (Good Try) A film which begins strong, with promises of a great tale, but later getting caught up in special effects and neglecting the elements of drama and emotion that it first struck up. ~Tom H
3 stars (Good Enough) Tale of a young girl murdered by her neighbour & her journey into the afterlife, while her family are left grieving and try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Visually lovely & well cast, but definitely a case of the book being a whole lot better. ~GenXGirl
2 stars (Good Try) Talk about taking liberties with the story. Some serious miscasting here with Weiz and Wahlberg - please. Talk about zero chemistry. Tucci is suitably creepy. Jackson OTT special effects overwhelm what at its heart is a story of longing. Kahuninja ~Kahuninja
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