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Cold Creek Manor

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
Cold Creek Manor
from Film Forum, 09/25/03

Director Mike Figgis, best known for arthouse films like Timecode and Leaving Las Vegas, turns in a mainstream thriller this week: Cold Creek Manor. When a house-hunting couple (Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone) settle on a magnificent fixer-upper in the country, the kids are thrilled and a happy season of remodeling lies ahead. But as the family gets to work, they find more to worry about than paint and plumbing. The house, it seems, has a troubling history—and present, once its former inhabitants show up.

Critics are troubled indeed. Ben Cornish (Christian Spotlight) says, "A cloud of hopelessness and despair shadow each character, yet the lack of character development never helps the audience explore why."

Gerri Pare (CNS) calls it a "ho-hum thriller. Thoroughly lackluster dialogue hampers Richard Jeffries' script, making it hard for Quaid and Stone to pump much life or chemistry into their roles. Figgis' direction telegraphs every plot development and, with virtually no surprises, a bland thriller results."

Nevertheless, the movie spooked Lisa Rice (Movieguide). She argues that "the filmmakers were masterful … the knuckles do stay white throughout the movie." But she concludes, "Regrettably, though, families and moral audiences will likely avoid this movie because the filmmakers load it with obscenities, sex, nudity, and excessive violence."

Bob Smithouser (Plugged In) agrees: "Frequent obscenities (plus … nudity and a loud, barely obscured sex scene) earn Manor its R rating and make it impossible to recommend."