Monday, December 21, 2015

Secrets of Eden (2012)

Director: Tawnia McKiernan
Starring: John Stamos, Anna Gunn, Sonya Salomaa, Samantha Munro, Athena Karkanis, Lisa Ryder, Graham Abbey, John Bourgeois, J.P. Manoux, John Robinson, Neil Foster, Barry Flatman, Jordan Todosey

When Alice Hayward (Salomaa) is murdered, suspicions surround both her abusive husband (Abbey), who was also found dead at the scene, and the local Pastor Steven Drew (Stamos) who shares a friendly bond with Alice. Rumours fly, especially since Detective Benincasa (Gunn) believes Pastor Drew is the prime suspect.

Based on Chris Bohjalian's novel of the same name, it feels like any subtlety that was present in the book is washed away on screen - it feels like a badly pegged Nicholas Sparks film made for a cheaper audience. What's mostly disappointing is that as a mystery there's not much at play, however when it sticks with the drama it does make for light entertainment.

Stamos and Gunn's star-power doesn't bring much to the game, especially Gunn who seems miscast and it's clear that role was not tailored to her. Munro, as the Hayward's orphaned teen daughter, is very underwhelming which is probably how to best describe the film as rather tame stuff for the Game of Thrones generation. McKiernan's feature debut, her other television credits include ER, Warehouse 13 and NYPD Blue.

2/5

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