The Messengers review

The East/West brain drain continues: twins Danny and Oxide Pang (The Eye, Bangkok Haunted) are the latest Asian directors lured by Hollywood moolah. Uprooting Oriental scares and plonking them on a haunted sunflower farm in North Dakota, it’s no wonder The Messengers is an unsatisfying culture-clash mess. It’s a game of two halves, an opening 40 minutes of well-crafted Eastern scares following troubled teen Jess (Kristen Stewart) and her mute toddler brother Ben (Evan Turner) as they encounter ghosts in cellars and killer crows straight out of The Birds. A terrifying, stretched to breaking-point corridor sequence – the ghosts creeping up behind Jess as toddler Ben points in silent terror – is so unbearable you’ll want to peg it, but then it falls apart with an utterly ludicrous, totally out-of-the-blue plot twist suggesting no-brain studio meddling on an epic scale. Message for The Pang Brothers: take the money and run.

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