Forest Whitaker must have owed someone a favor to star in this slow moving, generic Canadian ghost story. The Oscar winner plays a "paranormal consultant" brought in by a children's author to examine the house she recently moved into after seeing the ghost of a little girl running about. The bulk of the film is spent trying to unravel the history of the house and it's former inhabitants, as well as to restore the fuzzy memory of the author who, apparently, had some sort of accident that wiped a large chunk of it clean. Sound familiar? It should as this sort of "psychological" formula has been making the rounds for a few years now.

I counted 17 separate fake-out scares, nearly all of which involve the use of overblown sound effects like thudding drums, tinkling door chimes and laughing children. The dialogue is bad ("Do you have any idea what you're dealing with?!" and "Noooooo!!" are both used more than once), the townspeople are typically mysterious and unfriendly and the story plods along slowly with the climax coming without any real impact to this viewer.

Maybe this is because I don't really believe in the paranormal, or have much respect for those who claim to be able to explain things that go bump in the night without any kind of scientific inquiry, but the denouement of the film is a little on the "mumbo jumbo" side of things. That being said, I could easily see douche bags like Jon Edward or Sylvia Browne using similar explanations on their latest appearance on The Montel Williams Show.

The Marsh isn't an entirely bad film. The effects are decent and the acting is, for the most part, pretty solid. It's just that 30 minutes into it I was bored and it never won me back.

Cinemark Movie Club