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(Review originally written at 16 December 2006)

This movie is unoriginal, messy and lacking in true suspense or mystery.

This is one of those typical movies inspired by "The Sixth Sense". In 1999 "The Sixth Sense" took a totally new and original take on the horror genre and mixed it with mystery, drama and thriller elements. Many movies continued on with this new trend, some more successful than others. What also followed with countless wannabees with 'ghosts' that offered nothing new and seemed like uninspired rehashes. "The Gathering" is a perfect example of one of those movies.

The movie is not only unoriginal, its also totally not understandable at times, just because of the fact that it simply doesn't always make sense. Why on Earth take Cassie in house in the first place? And why does Michael has to die? It's one of those movies that tries to look clever but feature far too many implausibilities to take it very seriously. The movie also relies on too many 'coicindences'. The professor, or whatever he is, just happens to watch a couple of random paintings, photographs and historical videos that feature the members of 'the gathering' on it. The movie is filled with moments like this. The movie takes lots of things for granted without ever bothering to explain or go deeper into things.

The movie really could had used some scares and mysterious moments. The movie doesn't have a very good build up and the movie remains a too big mystery for most of its time. It isn't until halve way through the movie that things finally get explained and begin to get clear. This is far too into the movie and definitely too late to save the story, characters and the overall tensions. The first halve is one big pointless build up to nothing, since it doesn't add to the atmosphere and tension of the movie.

Christina Ricci is a good actress, although I admit I'm far from a fan of hers. At one point I even couldn't stand her in any movie but she and her acting seems to have matured over the years, ever since "Sleepy Hollow". She carries the movie mostly on her own and gets very little support from its supporting cast members. Ioan Gruffudd is also in it but his character seems a redundant one. Mackenzie Crook is also in the movie as one of the members of 'the gathering' but his role is a very small one though.

But the movie serves its purpose enough. Even though the story and movie as a whole is quite standard, it serves its purpose. It doesn't offer any scares or tense moments but the movie also doesn't bore. The movie therefor remains a watchable one for most of its running time and its also good looking.

The fact that after 4 years this movie isn't even released yet in North-America should say enough. A weak standard movie that somewhat serves its purpose but features nothing new or remarkable. A typical 13 in a dozen movie.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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