Dawning (2009) Movie Review
Director: Gregg Holtgrewe
Writer: Gregg Holtgrewe, Matthew Wilkins
Stars: David Coral, Jonas Goslow and Christine Kellogg-Darrin, Najarra Townsend and Daniel Jay Salmen
Rating: NR for language and some violent content.
Reviewed by: Char Hardin
“Best Film of 2010?”
“Bulls#@t!!”IT’S BORING! I should save my reasons for not liking this film for the end. I shouldn’t go against my code against the “ripping of a movie”…but I am ANGRY! This movie was given so much hype and I was mad to believe it was “BEST FILM OF 2010”, and was “something special”. It’s boring! Nothing “special” about it! I suffered through two viewings, looking for something…ANYTHING…positive to say about DAWNING. I checked around and sad to report…I wasn’t the only one “disappointed”: “Should have been named the, Yawning”, “Basically a waste of time”, “…lack of character development it only frustrates the viewer.”
“What is out there?”
For those of you that may have missed the previous reviews by other writers and do not know the premises for the film, the movie according to IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base website) is a Drama-Horror-Thriller. Personally, I found nothing horrific or thrilling about it, but drama it had plenty of “Family Drama”.
Chris (Jonas Goslow) and Aurora (Najarra Townsend) return the family’s camp, which now, is home to their father, Richard (David Coral) and step-mother Laura (Christine Kellogg-Darrin) for a visit. The “Family Drama” is the bitterness that Aurora and her brother Chris still harbor towards their father and step-mother, who they blame for the divorcing from their mother. Tensions are high after a family pet is injured and enter a crazy man covered in blood and acting erratic and psychotic (hearing voices).
The MAN (Daniel Jay Salmen) is carrying on about “IT” and his girl-friend, who by-the-way is not present. The Man is spouting nonsense and the bewildered family, are trying to make sense and then enters, the chaos of the inner struggle, to understand what is happening and warring with themselves, how to handle the situation and get out of their predicament alive.
The setting is a house out in the middle of nowhere Minnesota, miles from the nearest neighbor and there is a bleeding, crazy man in your kitchen blathering on and on about: “Evil. If you leave you will die.” It’s dark and the woods are unrelenting, as far as trying to peer through the darkness, to see, what was coming. Then, the weather comes in to play with more creepiness (rain). So, if I was looking for something positive to say…I would say the setting was perfect and the mood was taut, but the potential was wasted on something you can’t see.
The anxious build up for the tension, has the viewer anticipating something that never delivers. Each time the camera pans outside the house, the viewer is looking for something, expecting a jump scare which never comes. “Thriller” NO! Definitely NOT! “Psychological”… Yes. DAWNING had so MUCH potential, only to have it fall left me disappointed. AND the pace for this movie is so slow; it’s maddening for the viewer.
Why on Earth did I watch it twice? I thought I had missed something the first time around. However, after the second viewing, I was angry at myself for watching again. Mad at the over-the-top hype for this film and for wasting time, that could have been used, watching something good. When the credits rolled, I clapped, ever so happy, to see the end of the DAWNING. Would I recommend this movie to my friends or anyone who enjoys Psychological Thrillers…HELL NO!
I recommend looking for something that delivers recompense for watching a story, where a plot with a good hook, good characterization and direction for all things possible delivers. The invisible antagonist in the DAWNING was built up, but not fully executed or shown in a more visual way. Reminded me of FALLEN with Denzel Washington and John Goodman where the “Evil” jumped from one host to another. Only I enjoyed the FALLEN and I did not DAWNING. Why, if they are similar? Because in the FALLEN, there is a clear definition of what is happening and who is involved. You get but a glimpse of the EVIL with the Man in DAWNING, but not a strong true form of it.
1 out of 10 I liked the creepy house in the woods setting.
- DVD Review: DAWNING (geektyrant.com)