This had a lot of potential but ended up a stinker (almost). The story is somewhat nifty and the casting, albeit predictable, is serviceable. The direction and plotting is very pedestrian and it gets quite boring after a while. The suspense fizzles and not even the production design or soundtrack work can muster any real sense of urgency.
A pretty good ghost story premise is eventually derailed by poor scripting in this film from Canadian director Vincenzo Natali ('Cube', 'Splice'). Casting is hit and miss with young Ms. Breslin adequate in the lead.
Its twist on Groundhog Day and some could-be-clever twists are done idly and half-bakedly with its tonal-deaf mix of the silly and childish aspects of a ghostly Young Adult fiction novel left on over-extended, pre-bake (not to mention sometimes-annoying and often-awkward acting, with an is-it-unserious-or-seriousness-? tone to both its drama and horror, where only the genre-veteran McHattie leaves an impression.)
It borrows heavily from 'Groundhog Day', 'The Lovely Bones' and Natali's own 'Nothing', using kind-of-original ideas while being completely formulaic in its execution. The mere intention of this is to replicate the cool factor of recycled concepts, but the worst is this utterly silly, "nickelodeon-movies" tone that the movie has throughout.
Probably closer to 3 1/2 stars, but I liked it quite a bit so I decided to round up. While not great, this is a solid little twist on the haunted house story with a good central performance from Breslin.
Decepcionante Natali quien parecía perfilarse a un filme de terror psicológico, para luego comenzar a desarrollar pistas, canales que dan respuestas a lo paranormal. Ese necesidad por convertir a la víctima en ddetective, y en donde lo paranormal siempre tiene que darnos respuestas. Una mecánica aburrida, donde el suspenso (o ese discurso sobre mentes perturbadas, presenten en anteriores filmes de Natali) se anula.
I liked it. I liked Abigail and I liked the story. The end did have shades of Buffy, but guess what? I don't care. Horror is cheesy. Horror is . . . sometimes absurd, but this took me away for 97 mins and didn't break the spell once. So, four stars because I can.