Chloe (Lisa Younger) and Jason (Jared Vandenberg) are having a horrible time in Los Angeles. Their careers are not where they’d like them to be, and the town is running them down. Then they get a phone call that a ranch they were looking at in Joshua Tree is not only available for them to purchase and move in, but also ridiculously affordable. The two jump at the opportunity and head out to their new home. Of course, the place is cheap and available for a reason, as Chloe and Jason learn as their first night is plagued with nightmares and a general “cold creepy feeling.” From there, the two try to make sense of their situation and figure out what, if anything, is going on with their new home.
Cold Creepy Feeling is a frustrating film to watch, mainly because it feels like it is all set-up. Save for the opening of the film, that hints at something untoward going on in the house, almost 40 or so minutes go by before anything remotely spooky happens. And unlike most people in these scenarios, Chloe and Jason don’t ignore or under-react, they overreact. A couple bad dreams the first night in and they’re already trolling the internet about spooky feelings and calling a psychic friend (Alex Damiano) to come check out their new abode. Which is somewhat refreshing; how often do people in these scenarios maddeningly not react at all until something truly awful happens? Still, it just goes too far in the other extreme.
So we’re almost halfway in to the movie, and you’d expect the creepy factor to start to grow… but it doesn’t. Chloe and Jason head into town and kill time until their psychic friend shows up the following night. It’s not until the final 15-20 minutes that things really escalate, and by the time it does, the film is over. For me, the film was just getting interesting at that point. Not to say I wanted another hour and change, but maybe if we got to this part sooner the film could’ve explored the actual creepiness a bit more.
Because that’s another problem. For a movie that has “creepy” in the title, it really isn’t all that creepy. For the most part, the sense of creepiness isn’t shown or allowed to develop onscreen so much as the actors just outright express that things feel creepy to them. Which is fine, but if I’m watching a movie, I don’t want someone to tell me the scene is creepy, I want to get the impression that it is. And a few odd dreams aren’t creepy so much as weird, and when things do get somewhat creepy, the film is over.
Again, this was a frustrating film to sit through because I wanted it to get going; for something to develop. The pieces were definitely there; the film looks good, the location has a beautiful serenity (that could’ve been utilized to bounce off of the paranormal instability) and the acting, while not all that great, is at least pass-able for a ghost story. Unfortunately, though, it’s all set-up with little pay-off. As it is, this is the first act of a story stretched out to be the whole tale, and it didn’t work for me.
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