Walled In

The French director Gilles Paquet-Brenner turns an interesting enough plot into a turgid 90-minute yawn fest that becomes increasingly ludicrous.

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Where did it go wrong for Mischa Barton? Where was the tipping point? As a child actress, she starred in films such as Notting Hill and The Sixth Sense. As a teen she played Marissa in the cult hit, The OC.Now, her IMDB page cites a single episode of Law & Order as a forthcoming release and she's been reduced to the lead in a horror film so bad it makes you want to stab yourself in the eyes. This sensation will creep upon you early here. Barton stars as Sam Walczak, an engineering graduate whose first job is to plot the demolition of a condemned, concrete apartment building. She gets there, and then finds out that it was the scene of a grisly discovery 15 years earlier when several bodies were found encased in the concrete walls. Similarly demented are the building's remaining residents, most of all the caretaker, Mary (Deborah Kara Unger), and her teenage son, Jimmy (Cameron Bright), who promptly falls for Sam. Mary seems to be able to afford a good deal of botox on her caretaker salary. Of note is the acting, but only because it's so dismal. There is one scene, in particular, between she and Jimmy that is so wooden it may remind you of school plays. Thing is, if the story was gripping enough then Walled In might be bearable. But it isn't. The French director Gilles Paquet-Brenner turns an interesting enough plot into a turgid 90-minute yawn fest that becomes increasingly ludicrous. Poor old Mischa Barton. The most beneficial use of Walled In is as a warning for child stars everywhere.

* Sophia Money-Coutts