THE MARSH (Jordan Barker). 92 minutes. Opens Friday (April 6). Rating: N Rating: N
Not since Hilary Swank had an Affair Of The Necklace and Halle Berry traded in her Monster's Ball garb to play a Bond girl in a bikini has there been such an underwhelming post-Oscar appearance as Forest Whitaker's in The Marsh. It's a terribly written, almost so-bad-it's-funny low-budget horror film. Whitaker - no surprise - is the best thing in it.
Too bad we have to sit through a lifetime of boring backstory and cheesy, unfrightening sound effects before he shows up as something called a "paranormal consultant."
Claire (Scent Of A Woman's Gabrielle Anwar) is a children's book author with some badass nightmares involving a big old house, a creepy swamp and a couple of waterlogged corpses come to life.
When she sees an online picture of the house - now a B&B - she makes a reservation and isn't too surprised when supernatural things start to happen. It takes Whitaker's more rational ghostbuster to drill some sense into her.
This is essentially The Ring with no budget and a clunky script. Director Jordan Barker should have tightened up the first act, which basically consists of Anwar walking around the countryside as if she's in a Land's End photo shoot.
Once the effects start up - especially those concerning the gooey marsh - it's mildly entertaining. But by then we're catatonic.
One note about the casting. Canadians Justin Louis (who played the Donald in Trump: Unauthorized) and Brooke Johnson play contemporaries who have buried some dirty secrets. No offence to Johnson, who's a terrific actor, but she looks, and is, at least a decade older than Louis.
Maybe her character aged prematurely because of those secrets. Scary.