The first few minutes of Rosewood Lane would suggest that the events to follow will form the basis of a pretty decent cheesy horror. Radio talkshow therapist Sonny Blake (Rose McGowan) is summoned by the police to her father’s house, her childhood home, where his lifeless form has been found sprawled at the bottom of the basement stairs.
Cut to a year later, Sonny is broke and has to move into that house on the ultra-suburban Rosewood Lane, where she is stalked by a psychotic paperboy. Despite the fun and cheesy start, the promise soon evaporates leaving a lasting dissatisfaction with the predictable but simultaneously opaque narrative.
Rosewood Lane is from the writer/director of Jeepers Creepers, the controversial Victor Salva, which may tempt fans of that effective horror to watch and see what he will come up with next. What he’s produced is something based on successful cheesy horror films of yore but without the substance of his former work. A woman with a troubled past moves into a house all alone, the house where her alcoholic father died, she arranges her little china figurines, feels she’s being watched, is given not-very-cryptic warnings by her doddery next door neighbour, “I wouldn’t subscribe to the paper if I were you”, and the police don’t believe her when she says someone’s been in her house.
You never doubt whether or not it’s in her mind, you know from the start that the paperboy is an extremely unsavoury item but the wait to see what he will do next is just not enthralling enough to make up for the other failings. Some scenes attain a certain level of suspense and drama but again these aren’t enough to appease.
The supporting cast, including Lauren Vélez and Sonny Marinelli, are extremely forgettable and Rose McGowan’s inflated lips are a constant distraction from her acting. The only entertaining performance is from Reaper’s Ray Wise, playing Detective Briggs, who doesn’t really lose his trademark devilish smirk even during the rare tense scenes.
If you are a lover of good-bad films you may be tempted to give this one a go. Do so at your own peril.
Maryann has awarded Rosewood Lane one Torch of Truth.