Again riding on Asian horror’s coat tails, the US producers who remade Japanese scare-classic Ringu have joined with debut feature directors Charles and Thomas Guard for a rehash of spooky 2003 Korean fright-flick A Tale of Two Sisters.
After a stint in a mental institution following her invalid mother’s death in a fire, teenager Anna (a bland Emily Browning) returns to live in the family’s sea-side home. She’s happily reunited with her sister (a bolshier Arielle Kebbel), but suffers disturbing visions and the increasing suspicion the tragic event was caused by her father’s new girlfriend Rachel (a flatly soap villainish Elizabeth Banks).
Not nearly as creepy as the stylishly shot original, this version trades eerie atmosphere for clunky physical effects and waters down the house’s claustrophobia with needless subplots about Anna’s beach-party fling and another family murdered years before.
The original’s nifty twist is still there – but this time sorely lacks built-up punch.