It must be 30 years now since those aliens delivered the PG-13 Horror Movie Template to Hollywood studios, and here they are, still getting regular use out of it. This latest product even used the do-it-yourself generic title generator. Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell play Peter and Bronny, parents of an autistic boy, Mikey (David Mazouz), who starts talking to an imaginary friend that makes strange noises, leaves ominous handprints, drives the neighbor's dog crazy—your basic haunting, in other words, as described in Section II (a) of The Template. Bronny (her name is not explained) Googles conveniently helpful articles that perfectly summarize what’s happening, while Peter insists there’s a logical explanation, and throws himself into his work. (His Template-approved occupation: architect.) Eventually he takes the threat seriously and brings in a paranormal expert to recite the incantations necessary to exorcise the house, etc. Even at 92 minutes, this formulaic cast-off is mind-numbingly protracted, without a moment of originality (or scariness). The only way it works is if you’ve never seen a Template movie before, but that’s not likely.
Director: Greg McLean
Producer: Jason Blum, Bianca Martino, Matt Kaplan, Greg McLean, Couper Samuelson and Jeanette Volturno-Brill
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Lucy Fry, David Mazouz, Ming-Na Wen, Paul Reiser, Matt Walsh and Jennifer Morrison