It played here in Austin for exactly one week, with no advertising other than the cold, lifeless letters of the title listed on the marquee above the Dobie Theatre. And on opening night, Scott and I ventured to the theatre with another movie geek friend to see what was so bad it could make a company absolutely bury a film theatrically. We were the only three people in the auditorium at the last screening that Friday night, and I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say that we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was nowhere near bad enough to warrant the treatment it had received.
Have I piqued your interest yet? I hope so, because the rest of you will soon have the chance to see The New Daughter for yourselves, should you care to. The folks over at Anchor Bay have announced that they're bringing the film to DVD and Blu-ray on May 18th.
Specs for the DVD include an anamorphic widescreen transfer with a 5.1 surround sound mix, while the Blu-ray boasts a full 1080p transfer and a lossless Linear PCM 5.1 surround sound track. Both discs include an audio commentary with director Luis Berdejo, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and the theatrical trailer. Not too shabby for a film no one was interested in three months ago.
If you're thinking you've heard of Luis Berdejo, you have. The man co-write one of the most genuinely frightening films in recent memory, the Spanish hit [REC], and, subsequently, the sadly inevitable American remake, Quarantine. In addition to Costner, the film also stars Noah Taylor and Samantha Mathis, who both appeared in films from the recent SXSW film festival, Red, White and Blue and Lebanon, Pa respectively. And the New Daughter herself is none other than Ivana Baquero, the little girl who captivated audiences in Guillermo del Toro's dark fairy tale Pan's Labyrinth.
The New Daughter starts strong with a certain scene that sets you on edge and keeps you glued to the screen, but unfortunately, the pace slows way down and the film turns tedious. It's still mildly interesting, but you keep waiting for something big to happen. Then the last 15 minutes roll around, trying valiantly to make up for what's come before. And while it is a case of being too little too late, it's a solid effort culminating in an absolutely awesome and amazing final shot. Be forewarned about the pacing issues, but think about giving this one a rent and make sure you stick around for that last shot.