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Ever wondered what happened to Francis Ford Coppola? Well, he's still making movies, just not very good ones. Seems that he has decided to get back to the core of filmmaking and is only doing low-budget, independent, movies nowadays, which he probably mostly has to finance himself. That's all very admirable but I wish I also could say that some great movies spawned from this. It rather means that the movie doesn't have the most impressive or professional looking and sounding cinematography, editing, music and whatnots but that honestly is hardly the biggest problem of this movie.

It's basically nothing more but one uninteresting and dull mess. Francis Ford Coppola and horror sounds like a great match, especially once you have seen his 1992 "Dracula" version but let me just say that this ain't no "Dracula". Both visually and storytelling-wise it's going for a totally different approach. You could say that with this movie Coppola attempted to go for a more artistic and art-house sort of approach but both visually and story-wise the movie never manages to become an interesting or effective enough one to consider this a successful attempt.

It was especially disappointing to see how poorly the story got handled. Seems to me that deep down, there still were some good, original and interesting ideas in its story but the movie is really lacking a good enough focus and a decent buildup to anything. The movie more often feels like its going absolutely nowhere with its story, which is all due to the story feeling all over the place, with its characters, plot lines and developments.

It's always good to see Val Kilmer act again but it at the same time is also painful how his talent often goes to waste, in movies such as this one. The movie further more also stars Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning, Ben Chaplin, Joanne Whalley and David Paymer, who probably all thought they were going to be part of something special but I doubt that any of them (or their agents) would have been very happy with the eventual end result. I still have to say that I really liked Bruce Dern in this though and it was also a nice touch that Joanne Whalley played Val Kilmer's, not so very happy and supportive, wife in this, 15 years after their real life marriage had ended.

I would have been OK with the movie just being different, more creative and with a slower type of pace but there really is no excuse when a movie is just plain boring to watch. I was still with the movie for most part but about halfway through I pretty much gave up on it, when the movie slowly started to develop into something less and less interesting and effective. And it's not like the movie has a decent enough payoff in it anywhere either, so it asks a lot of its viewers, without really ever giving anything back to them.

Time to pack your bags and get back to Hollywood Coppola, if you want to make some better movies again.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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