Saturday, October 16, 2010
The Colemans are a suffering family: their daughter Maxine is deaf, their last child was stillborn and Kate, the mother, is also a recovering alcoholic. John, the father, has his own problems, but mention of these only surfaces later in the film. An adopted child from hell is the last thing they need and exactly what they get. The film runs through its 3-act setup briskly. The gore stays faithful to the revised conventions of the genre (thanks to the advent and blossoming of torture porn) in being quite unsubtle, but is also unsettling. Isabella Fuhrman leads a set of great performances. Director Serra succeeds in making things creepy and interesting, while continuing to chug along to the inevitable third act featuring revelations, conflict, more gore, death and (mercifully) no wisecrack-laden ending. The only extra things on the DVD are some deleted scenes, including an alternative ending that owes a debt to Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard.