Monday, October 8, 2012

Rosewood Lane (2011)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
The Psychiatrist and host of the radio talk show Talk Line, Dr. Sonny Blake, returns to Rosewood Lane, in Stillwater, one year after the death of her father to live in his house. Sonny was raised by brutality by her father and is a traumatized woman that was submitted to therapy by Dr. Cloey. Sonny's boyfriend, the DA Barrett Tanner, helps to bring her things to her new home. On the arrival, her next door neighbor advises Sonny that the paperboy is a dangerous weirdo. Sonny finds that the paperboy has broken into her house and might have killed her father, but Detective Briggs and Sabatino do not believe Sonny and think it's her imagination. When Barrett is attacked and missing, Sonny and her friend Paula Crenshaw call the police, but he is not found in the house. Is Sonny freaking out or is the paperboy an evil being?

This film is directed by Victor Salva, you all know him as the writer/director of the Jeepers Creepers movies. I'm still looking for answers on if there will be a third installment in the Jeepers Creepers series. I keep hearing about a third film subtitled Cathedral, definite's on this are none, so I'll wait and see. Salva was charged with pedophilia for doing some despicable acts to a 12 year old boy during production on Salva's 1989 horror film, Clownhouse. The film was about some boys who go to a carnival and are tormented by escaped mental patients dressed as clowns. I've never seen it, but it's on my list. I'll get to it.

With Rosewood Lane, Salva delivers another shocking, twisted tale. I've credited Salva before for being a good director and writer, and in this movie he brings the shocks and suspense that has become his standard of film making. This film keeps you on edge and engulfs you, wrapping you in a mystery and keeping you enthralled until the end. You're surrounded by so many unanswered questions that you have to keep watching and see where it's going. Salva also gives a nice nod to his Jeepers Creepers series by making the town of Stillwater right next to Poho and Pertwilla, the towns the Jeepers Creepers films took place in.

Rose McGowan plays the lead, Sonny Blake, who specializes in psychology after having to go through therapy herself after growing up in an abusive home. McGowan, who's mostly known for her role as Paige Mathews on the hit Television series Charmed, puts on a convincing performance that helps make you, the viewer, scared for her. You're rooting for her, hoping she can find help and find answers before she finds herself in deeper trouble that can mean life or death. She's a stunningly elegant woman, but very powerful and brave.

Daniel Ross Owens plays Derek Barber/paperboy. Daniel was in a movie I didn't like too much that I watched here recently called The Final, funny thing was that I didn't recognize him when watching Rosewood Lane. He plays a weird lunatic who is feared by all the residents of Stillwater, due to his unorthodox behavior. The dogs of the town know when he's around, it drives them into barking fits and they chase him down several times in the movie. Another weird thing about the paperboy is that he has black eyes, pure black, no color at all. It helps add to the mystery of this character.

I knew this movie was going to be good when I first put it on. Like most of us horror junkies, we have our fair share of bad horror films. You get to seeing so many bad ones that you can start to tell within the first 10 minutes if it's going to be good or not. This was one of the ones I knew I wasn't going to have to turn off.

Rosewood Lane starts off very real and grounded, getting you to see Sonny and what her life consists of. You see how her life is barely back together when she comes to be involved in the paperboy's shenanigans. What's interesting to me is how she reacts to being stalked by the weird and black-eyed paperboy who neighbors won't even talk about. Then the question of whether or not he's supernatural enters the equation, and it makes Sonny and the viewers thirst for answers.

One thing that gets me is how weird the concept of the movie is. If someone came to me with the idea of a paperboy who's also a stalker I'd think that the idea was already done. Maybe not done with a paperboy, but the idea of a woman being stalked has been done just about every way possible. But this isn't your average stalker film, Salva takes an ordinary and overused concept ad makes it fresh and original, which is pleasantly surprising and enjoyable.

Sonny finds out that her house has been invaded by the paperboy when she returns home from work to see her nick nacks are rearranged. That is just the start as she also starts receiving phone calls at work from him, speaking nursery rhymes to her on the air of her radio talk show for all her listeners to hear. The situation progresses even more as he starts to target ones that are close to her.

To me, Sonny was a little to lenient, she gave him too many chances before pulling out the big guns. There's a scene where she has a baseball bat and only threatens to swing it and giving him the chance to advance on her. At this point she's been through enough, and whatever pain she can inflict on him she should inflict on him. Even if he is a minor.

The situation is allowed to worsen because the police and her companions think Sonny is losing her mind and making a big fuss about a silly paperboy for nothing. They even suggest she goes back to therapy and that she's still not stable since her fathers death. One scene that stood out to me is where Sonny is driving home from the radio station and sees the paperboy on the side of the road, way out in the middle of nowhere where she works. I won't spoil anything, but this scene was chilling and it's one of those scenes that just sticks with you.

Overall I liked the movie. I thought it was off the wall and totally original and creative. However, it isn't Victor Salva's best. The ending was what hurt the movie for me. It has a disappointing ending for what I consider to be an above average horror film. If the ending were strong like the movie it would rate higher with me. It deserves a better ending but it's a genuine chiller.



  1. Great job on this review! I'm def interested in watching :)

  2. This has been the best review of the film I have seen. Many viewers (and reviewers) do not take into account Blake's upbringing (which is shared by director Salva), which I am glad that you did. Your review is fair, honest, and empathetic. This is "Psychological Thriller", and not "Horror." Salva is revealing a large part of himself in this film, which most director would not. The questions of this film are: 1. Who is "Derek Barber"?, 2. Is Derek Barber human? 3. What are Blake's relationships with Briggs, Sabatino, Paula, Barrett, Glenn, Fred Crumb, Dr. Cloey Talbot (and the other characters)? I don't want to spoil the film, but the most key relationship Blake has is with *her father.* If Blake's relationship with her father remains *central* in the viewers mind, the viewer might find the film is much, much more disturbing. I had questions that I really, really want to be answered! But in the end, the questions had been answered all along --I just wasn't brave enough to want to accept them. --MMT

  3. The paperboy looks more like the paperman. He is too old for the part.a younger person would have been more convincing especially since no one takes his threats serious...he would also be more creepy to the neighbors that actually fear him. The movie was OK due to that and the ending being a total cheat. For that I rate it a c+.

    1. Never thought of the age thing before...good call. Makes total sense.


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