Coming to dvd 1-29
Paul Andrew Williams directed the much underrated 2008 little fun horror gem called The Cottage, and he also wrote the very overrated The Children, so going into Cherry Tree Lane my expectations were on the fence, then when I found out it was a home invasion movie my expectations fell drastically. If found footage films are done to death, you have to say home invasion films are quickly running neck and neck with them. Now, I am not saying even though they are both done to death, there are not some that really are good, I am just saying that how many more films do us as a movie going public really need that seem to tell the same story? That is not saying Cherry Tree Lane is good or bad, or even indifferent, it is just saying, we basically seen this film 100 times by now. You get the business man Mike and his wife Christine, that are the standard family, the first ten minutes or so of this 77 minute film are just dialogue to build up the characters to make you feel something for them, but to be honest with you guys and gals, their lives are so boring and just bland that an abduction for them would be like a vacation.
So, as the film goes on three guys come into the house and they are looking for the coupleâ€™s son Sebastian, it seems he made some local boys unhappy, and they will wait there with the parents tied up and beaten up a little and wait for him. I have seen 100â€™s of home invasion films, and while this one is not as intense as some, it does have some moments of uncomfortable tension. My issue with this film is that it was so long-winded, the invaders were not believable enough and the couple to me felt like they were not selling it enough. The film goes into a long speech about dvdâ€™s, you are telling me that when you get people to invade your house, they not only touch everything with their hands leaving proof of who they are, but they go thru a dvd collection just to criticize films? The characters were all so one dimensional that you cannot really believe anything you see on screen. When even the family members are coming across as confident and self-assured in the times of peril, it makes no sense as to why the abductors did not do anything to make them fear them more. It was like, you can just tell they knew that they would get an upper hand and take care of matters just from how they acted, and they never really made you buy into them being scared or victims.
This film has zero realistic value; it seemed like a local art house play set with some cussing. I want a home invasion movie to be graphic, to scare me to death about opening the door for anyone, not watching this and thinking that all abductors are really soft and would only punish you for a few seconds then let you chill out, while they just hang out and eat your cookies. This film is like a watered down toned down lifetime film that will be TV MA. I guess this film is supposed to bridge the London Middle Class to the hooded youth gangs, because the young adults who come into this home invasion only want the son, they can care less about bettering themselves by stealing stuff to make money from, they just want to represent the urban underground.
This film was too tame, the sexual attacks happen off screen, and the violence is so subtle that I almost felt that they should have just stopped it and settled their differences on a game of chess. This is another weird turn from a man I thought when he made The Cottage I would be seeing huge things from.
2 out of 10