The Messengers (2007)
At the onset,The Messengers is a quite useful family drama with fine performances, especially from the ever-reliable Dylan McDermott and from the very promising Kristen Stewart (who with this lead and a good turn in Into the Wild has made something of a breakthrough this year). It is a pleasant surprise to see how well the directors handle the interpersonal material, bearing in mind that this is ostensibly a horror movie. The result is that we dread the moment the filmmakers are going to pour cliched horror omens at us. There are insultingly few original ideas when it comes to the visualization of the horror elements. They are insipid to say the least, and anyone with more than a handful of horror films under their belt will be likely to fall asleep during the supernatural segments - only to be abruptly wakened by the filmmakers' desperate use of shrieking sounds to keep us on the edge of our seats of course. Towards the end, it becomes clear that the story retains some credibility on a psychological level, but this cannot salvage the utterly uncreative artistic execution. Had The Messengers been a film about a family tormented by their own history instead of ghosts, this probably would have been a good movie.