Deadline,Brittany Murphy

This creepy thriller starring the late Brittany Murphy (she died just 20 days after this movie was released in the US) plays out like a standard haunted house movie.

Following some sort of emotional breakdown, writer Alice (Murphy) has decided to get away and spend time alone in a large period property in order to finish her screenplay.

Not long after she settles in and starts typing away on that laptop, the familiar haunted house clichés begin – creaking floors, running taps, doors opening by themselves, faces in mirrors and watery footprints etc etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxUuYl6lyG8&fs=1

It’s all very suspenseful, but it’s just not scary, and you can’t help but judge the film as seriously flawed when the troubled Alice displays little concern for the ghostly goings on.

I don’t want to say much more

But what I will say is that the film, which co-stars Thora Birch, has a big twist at the end which requires you to rethink the entire story in order to make sense of it.

I didn’t do this when I watched it though, because by the time the end credits rolled, I’d become significantly disillusioned by the film’s flaws and couldn’t be bothered to work out what the twist was all about.

I think most people probably have the same reaction and dismiss the film, giving it no further thought.

However, since I’ve chosen to write about the movie today, I’ve been forced to revisit it a little, and guess what, I think I’ve suddenly made sense of that twist, and it’s actually quite clever.

In fact the twist provides an explanation for the film’s perceived weaknesses. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t excuse them. I may now see this film in a different light, but the fact remains that I just wasn’t entertained enough while watching it.

Deadline is showing on Sky Movies Premiere tomorrow 24th August at 2pm, Wednesday 25th August at 1.25pm, and Thursday at 2pm.

Brittany Murphy also stars in Just Married showing today on Film 4 at 7.10pm