Rosewood Lane (2011) – Review

1 Star


It is difficult to assess what the original conceit for Rosewood Lane was in the scripting stages. Director Victor Salva, most notable professionally for the Jeppers Creepers series and the forgotten Powder, attempts to deliver a new maniacal villain to the genre. The result is a sloppy, scattershot affair that looks great (credit to ace cinematographer Don E. Fauntleroy) but like its heroine, is a mess.

Late-night radio talk show host Sonny Blake (Rose McGowan) inexplicably moves into her childhood home after her abusive, alcoholic father is found slain, in what appears to be an accidental death. Before long she realizes that the local paperboy is terrorizing the neighborhood and is directly responsible for her father’s murder. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly, the central villain is… a paperboy! Sure, he has some unexplainable abilities and other oddities, but a horror film (like a good Bond film) succeeds or fails based on a remarkable antagonist. In this department Rosewood Lane doesn’t deliver.

Too many characters are left stranded by the convoluted screenplay that feels as if it were cut down from a longer work. Or perhaps Salva didn’t have a full grasp on the material in production and the film turned into a standard slasher-flick. Take for example a sequence in which the police frantically attempt to dig out a man buried alive. The scene ends; the man hasn’t been discovered and the script never mentions him again. This kind of absence of logic is standard for the genre, but Salva has made intelligent films in the past, lets hope he makes them again in the future. Rosewood Lane is D.O.A.

Director: Victor Salva
Stars: Rose McGowan, Lin Shaye, Ray Wise

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