Three words. Indian. Burial. Ground. That’s all you really need to know, Indian burial ground. Now if I wanted to get all political on you I could mention that the entire United States of America is probably an Indian burial ground but we are not going to do that. All we really want to know is at what point are people in movies going to stop building stuff on top of old Indian burial grounds? Given a choice between building my home on an abandoned Nuclear Reactor or an Indian burial ground, clearly the toxins from leftover Uranium are way more safer than angry dead Indians. Anyway this just leads us to our man Kevin Costner’s latest joint ‘The New Daughter’ in which his original daughter hangs out at an Indian burial ground and finds that bad things happen when you do this.
It’s been a tough time for the James family. Patriarch John (Costner), a famous author, his young son Sam (Gattlin Griffiths) and his disrespectful aloof teenage daughter – redundant we know – Louisa (Ivana Boquero) have all been abandoned by their slut of a whore mother. Since this is a movie of a horror nature, though I tried to convince my wife and child it was a ‘thriller’ so they would watch it with me, John moves his family to some remote location where cell phone service is shoddy and dead Indians are destined to be buried.
Then one day Louisa finds a big mound of dirt. This could very well be the first movie where the main villain is a mound of stationary dirt. For whatever reason this big mound of dirt made quite an impression on young Louisa, though Sam, like a lot of little boys in movies like these, has the evil sensing gene and won’t go anywhere near the big mound of dirt.
Then Louisa starts acting strange, or at least stranger than usual. She comes home covered in dirt, is often in a trance, attracts bugs and slow creeping fog, suffers from compulsive vomiting and is covered in warts. Being the observant type, her father realizes that something is wrong and decides to investigate and this is where the whole
Indian burial ground thing comes into play. Now John is kind of up against it because his old daughter Louisa seems to be gone, replaced by something else. Truth be told this something else is a little nicer than the old Louisa outside of the fact that it is always dirty, enjoys psychologically torturing poor Sam and also likes to kill every once in awhile. Other than that this New Daughter ain’t so bad.
But John wants his old daughter back. Little Sam knows the score and is of the mindset, like me, that they should just get hell out of there but John is willing to sacrifice all to save his baby girl. Note to future home owners: If in your new location you inform a local as to where you are staying and it suddenly gets quiet… it is time to move.
‘The New Daughter’ might be one of those movies that could probably use a ‘Director’s cut’ but won’t be nearly popular enough to get one. You see there are a lot of elements in this movie that simply do not make any sense or are far too open ended, but then again there are some clever things in this movie that do make sense and follow a certain logical path. Considering this movie is the directorial debut of Luis Berdejo who was the screenwriter of the very well received [REC], I’m betting that he wouldn’t have left these gaping plot holes in his debut movie. To the contrary, a new director would probably have done just the opposite and have too much in his movie thus leaving the editor and studio to trim it down to a respectable length and this is where I believe the problems for this movie began since I don’t think they did a very good job at making this happen.
Everything in this movie is sketchy. The creatures we are dealing are sketchy, what is happening to Louisa is sketchy, there’s a side story about Sam and his ant farm which has something to do with what’s happening in this film that is left dangling, though I’m sure it was critical to the story. This film was ultimately cut for speed and not coherence and it suffers for it. And the disjointed final action sequence was filmed way too dark which rendered it neither frightening nor thrilling.
It’s too bad because there are some cool things in this horror movie. I enjoyed the way the plot gradually laid itself out, I liked how Berdejo used edges of his entire frame in certain scenes for maximum creepiness. I liked Kevin Costner’s performance in that whenever something didn’t seem right, his character ran like a big sissy which is what most of us would do, as opposed to being a badass until it came time to try to save his daughter, which also I hope most of us would also do. I will say it doesn’t really seem genetically logical that the fair haired Kevin Costner could father the dark eyed, dark haired Ivana Boquero, but then we have established that his characters ex-wife is a slut of a whore so we will infer our own back story into that. I’m sure Kevin Costner could only look on in envy as Ivana Boquero effectively suppressed her Spanish accent for 99.8% of this movie which will lead me to proclaim by the time the kid turns twenty-five she will be a big time international movie star. Not because of this movie though, but it’s gonna happen.
Not that a different cut of this movie would’ve made this film any better, but nonetheless I left ‘The New Daughter’ with the feeling that there is more to this movie the studio allowed us to see.