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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.56%
Worth A Look: 14.75%
Average: 21.31%
Pretty Bad: 22.95%
Total Crap34.43%

3 reviews, 43 user ratings

Cold Creek Manor
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by EricDSnider

"Totally predictable, but at least it's not boring."
3 stars

Even though I see a lot of movies, I'm still not very good at predicting what will occur in them. I get a general sense, but I rarely peg the specific events. Yet in "Cold Creek Manor," a rather plain suspense film, I don't think there is even one thing that happens that I didn't foresee. It's the sort of movie that makes dumb guys like me feel smart.

So there's this family in New York City, but they want to get away to someplace less hectic, so they buy a run-down old house in the country. Dad, Cooper Tilson (Dennis Quaid), is a documentary filmmaker. His wife, Leah (Sharon Stone), works in some kind of high-finance corporate thing, doing I don't know what, but she's left that job to be with her family at Cold Creek Manor. They have a young daughter Kristen (Kristen Stewart) and son Jesse (Ryan Wilson), who are both pretty stoked about the dilapidated piece of crap their family has moved into.

The locals are funny about the house. When they stop at a gas station on the way, an attendant played by Juliette Lewis gets a really icky look on her face when they mention Cold Creek Manor, and I mean even ickier than the look that's usually on Juliette Lewis' face.

Turns out there was some trouble there not long ago. The former owner, Dale Massie (Stephen Dorff), lived with his family, but they went missing, and then he went to jail and the bank foreclosed and now he wants his house back. Since Cooper is too trusting and a little stupid, frankly, he lets Dale work as a handyman, even though he leers at Cooper's wife and mentions that his young daughter is "pretty." You'd think someone who makes documentaries for a living would be more observant about people, but oh well.

So some bad stuff starts happening, some of it involving snakes, and the local sheriff (Dana Eskelson) gets involved, and there's one thing and another, and before you know it everything comes to a head during a big rainstorm.

This is the sort of film that shows you all the cards in its hand in the beginning, shuffles them, then somehow expects you not to recognize them when they start showing up again. "Yeah, movie, there's a blue piece of plastic in the driveway that turns out to be important," you say. "I knew it would turn up sooner or later, because you gave me an ominous closeup of it ages ago. Same with the old slaughterhouse weapons posted on the wall that Dale went on and on about for a whole scene. Did you really think that wouldn't tip me off that they'd be used later? Come on, movie. Give me a little credit."

Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone: love 'em. Both are really likable actors, and Stone is radiantly beautiful. I wish she were in more movies, even if they're bad ones like "Gloria."

The writer/director is Mike Figgis, whose "Timecode" (2000) and "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995) indicate he's much better than this. I don't know what he thought he was doing here in potboiler-thriller territory.

I recently read an interview with Mike Nelson, host and head writer of "Mystery Science Theater 3000," a man who clearly knows his bad movies. He said he has no problem with a movie being stupid; that's not what makes a film bad. "Be stupid, sure, just don't be boring," he said.

My sentiments exactly. Plenty of movies are dumb but entertaining, and "Cold Creek Manor" is almost one of them. It may be predictable, but it's not dull, not when you have Juliette Lewis and Stephen Dorff's mega-white-trash alcohol-based relationship, not to mention Christopher Plummer playing a delusional old man who tells his son, "You're the corrupt spawn of your whoring mother." That's the kind of insane, laughable dialogue that helps pass the time from one easily spotted plot twist to the next.

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originally posted: 09/28/03 16:41:30
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell IT SUCKS 1 stars
9/25/10 Dax Pretty scary, plot was pretty straightforward but I thought they actually did an ok job. 4 stars
5/03/07 karel A very naive movie 1 stars
1/28/07 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
1/06/06 aimless Staggeringly Bad, a showcase of Mike Figgis' limitations as a director 1 stars
12/15/05 Jeff Anderson Completely stupid from the word go! I've had migraine headaches more thrilling than this!! 1 stars
9/27/05 tatum I have seen better suspense on "This Old House" 2 stars
8/26/05 ES What was this about again? oh yeah, that's right, I don't care 1 stars
6/22/05 darick Not abysmal, merely forgettable and boring 2 stars
5/24/05 Tracie Smegelski This one is worth seeing just for little hottie Stephen Dorff. He's sexy and smokin' here! 4 stars
3/22/05 Kyle Not very original, but I thought it was entertaining. 4 stars
11/05/04 psycho black dwarf Greg: it's not Faulkner for crying out loud, but it's not FUBAR either, it's forgettable. 2 stars
9/27/04 NJ Cup Winner 95-00-03 I find it hard to imagine professionals made this unbearable garbage 1 stars
9/25/04 Playful Penis Paul More like Cold Creek Manure! Ha! Hahahaha...oh, I need medication 1 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva the snakes were a little much 3 stars
6/20/04 Stuart Ripped off - avoid 2 stars
6/06/04 sweet c dale(sooooo hot)the rest just cold!!! 3 stars
5/24/04 Erick Díaz Rubbish!!! 1 stars
5/05/04 Jack Sommersby Irredeemably awful. Neither scary nor suspenseful -- just endlessly tedious. 1 stars
4/23/04 James Hill It was a good movie 3 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt Really boring and not thrilling. Like a big budget Lifetime movie, but with bigger stars. 2 stars
3/09/04 bsho76 Watching this movie made me want to light myself on fire 2 stars
1/03/04 A F Cold Crap Manor. Suckiest suck that ever sucked 1 stars
12/31/03 Spill The Beans oh my god this scared me to death!! So suspensful and unpredicable!! Im still shaking 5 stars
11/21/03 Roy R. Pryor Promising starting suspense, but film passes over 7 opportunities to not be predictable. 2 stars
10/07/03 nr it was just okay 3 stars
9/30/03 Morgan Un-intense and completely predictable. Underdevelopment of the characters 1 stars
9/29/03 Nadia Murphy This was a terrible movie. I want my money back. 1 stars
9/29/03 Big Daddy Predictable but ok and keeps your attention. 3 stars
9/27/03 Pat Landry Bad Plot but I thought it had good acting. The ending should have shown the sheriff alive. 5 stars
9/27/03 Mary Hanson Totally loved it!!!! 5 stars
9/26/03 Angry Black Man A black family would have sold the damn house!!! 1 stars
9/22/03 jimmy james omg. wtf. lol. ggkthx. 1 stars
9/22/03 Ellie Bad acting, predictable, stupid!!! 2 stars
9/21/03 here i liked it it was good 5 stars
9/21/03 Janine Lay Predictable stupid plot, nothing scary, bad acting, stupid redneck bullshit 1 stars
9/20/03 Timmy This isn't a horror movie, it's just one of those crappy dramas 1 stars
9/20/03 Jason Zito I saw this for free, and it was the most expensive movie ever 1 stars
9/19/03 Mr Chan director forgot what movie about half-way through 1 stars
9/15/03 Gary good movie, but too many flaws 3 stars
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  19-Sep-2003 (R)



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