Rosewood Lane review

 

Prior to watching this movie I didn’t know much about it other than the fact that it starred Rose McGowan and that she played a doctor.  First off I can say that I wouldn’t classify this movie as a “horror movie” as it plays more on the Hitchcock-styled suspense theme and the gore factor is mild to non-existent.  Second, for anyone who was a fan of Rose McGowan in her Scream or Jawbreaker days, you will not be let down: she still delivers and she’s still very easy on the eyes.
 
Dr. Sonny Blake (McGowan) is a radio call-in show therapist whose father recently passed away after falling down his basement stairs.  We later find out that the basement which he died in is also the same basement in which Ms. Blake would hide from him as a child when his alcoholism would lead to abuse.  Sonny decides to move back into the house where her worst childhood memories occurred, much to the confusion of her on-again, off-again romantic interest, Barrett.
 
Soon after moving in, Sonny meets Mr. Crumb, a local elderly neighbor who warns her of an ominous bike riding character she sees in the distance.  She doesn’t seem too phased by it until she actually meets the two-wheeled terror who refers to himself as “Cam”, but whose real name we later learn is Derek Barber, local teenage paperboy at large.  The film wastes no time getting to the fact that Derek Barber has more than newsprint delivery on his mind.  During their initial meeting, Barber overstays his welcome and leaves only when a neighbor’s Rottweiler begins barking at him.
 
Seeing as her time slot at the radio station ends at midnight, Blake doesn’t get home until about 1 AM.  It’s not long before she begins to notice slight irregularities in her home that only she would or could notice.  Sonny immediately contacts Barrett, informs him that someone has been in her house and the police are soon involved.  As is the case with most suspense-laden movies the police are of little help and only inform Sonny that they’ve spoken to Derek Barber’s parents and that they vouched for him being home the entire time.  It should be of note that Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Swamp Thing and one of my favorite Charlie Sheen movies, The Chase) does an excellent job of portraying an angry, ineffective detective who consistently feels his time is being wasted.
 
As Sonny realizes that the police will be of no use to her she decides to take matters into her own hands in an attempt to confront Derek or his parents, but it seems that Derek is always one step ahead of her.  At times he even appears to be almost superhuman in this endeavor, which further adds to Sonny’s dismay.
 
Rosewood Lane is a most idyllic suspense movie, with elements of The Strangers, Funny Games and The Hitcher mixed in.  With a stand-out performance by Daniel Ross Owens, Derek Barber is a different kind of bad guy; smart, witty, crafty and most importantly, protected by the law due to his age.  The mystery surrounding the psychotic paperboy comes to final, dramatic, conclusive showdown between Sonny and Derek and what modern suspense movie wouldn’t be complete without a surprise twist at the very end?
 
All-in-all, after watching the film I’m glad that I live nowhere near Rosewood Lane and that I don’t subscribe to a newspaper.
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