The Messengers | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

In this logic-suspending supernatural thriller, an emotionally and financially troubled Chicago family tries again on a remote, rundown sunflower farm in North Dakota. That's Bad Idea No. 1. (They don't know what we already do: Some sicko slaughtered his family there.) They rush straight to Bad Idea No. 2 -- hiring a shotgun-toting drifter. Bad Idea No. 3: Sticking around after crazy shit starts happening (when walls repeatedly bleed, just pack up) -- and after teen-age Jess (Kristen Stewart) has either (a) a psychotic breakdown or (b) really begun seeing dead people everywhere. Foolish parents Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller insist on staying ... for the sake of the sunflowers! Co-directors Oxide and Danny Pang manage a few nervy moments, but mostly reach for cheap jump-out scares and hokey misdirection. It's mildly entertaining, in a grab-your-date kinda way -- and you'll be glad it all works out for the pretty flowers. (AH)

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