Movie Review of "Secrets in the Walls"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2010 made-for-TV horror movie starring Jeri Ryan and Peyton List.

Synopsis: A newly-divorced mom of two ends up purchasing a house near her new job that, at least at first glance, is perfect for her and her daughters. However, shortly after moving in, strange things begin happening to her and her girls that, ultimately, can only be explained by the presence of a vengeful paranormal spirit.

Who's in it?

The movie stars Jeri Ryan, Kay Panabaker, Peyton List and Ian Kahn.

Too Predictable to Be Scary

Horror movies, in general, tend to differ quite a bit as far as being scary is concerned. However, one rule I've found is always true, regardless of the film, is predictable never equals scary. And, unfortunately, when we watched this movie Saturday night, it was a film that once again proved that.

The overall premise of the film isn't a bad one. A single mom (Ryan), desperate to gain some independence after her divorce, buys a beautiful home that was luckily in her budget and, thanks to some simple renovations, accidentally releases the pretty angry spirit of a teenager that was essentially buried alive in one of the walls by her husband.

The problem with this movie is there is nothing about it that is even remotely unique or unexpected. It wasn't hard to guess where the girl's body was buried. Whenever one of them did something by a mirror, the girl (Jordan Provillion), predictably was standing in the reflection (is there some rule somewhere that requires movies to use that cliche?) and, of course, when the youngest daughter (List) reports seeing the girl, nobody believes her.

Even the weak attempt at a twist three-quarters of the way through the movie, involving the spirit possessing the oldest daughter (Panabaker) wasn't that much of a surprise. A general rule of thumb, if the characters in a horror film believe they have "released" a spirit and there's still a good half hour or so remaining in the movie, chances are the ghost is going to show up a short time later.

I think something else that could have helped this movie drastically is a better explanation about why the girl stuck around even after her body was removed. Was it because of the music box the oldest daughter found? Did it have something to do with that necklace? And, if yes to either of those questions, did they just simply leave those objects in the house at the end? Maybe if there was an attempt to give that spirit just a little more depth, it might have been slightly more memorable, though, admittedly, I'm not sure if it would have been enough to make this a good movie.

Secrets in the Walls

Single mom Rachel Easton and her two daughters move from their cramped Detroit apartment to the suburbs when Rachel gets an irresistible deal on her dream house. But with the ni...

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Final Opinion

It was a halfway decent and believable premise. However, the movie uses too many cliches and, as I said before, was just too predictable to be scary.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 01/26/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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