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WITHIN
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Hanelle Culpepper

Starring:
Mia Ford
Sammi Hanratty
Lori Heuring
Sam Jaeger
Brent Sexton

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Rachel is a sweet girl with a troubled soul, caused by a unique gift - she can see evil spirits within others. After witnessing the brutal killing of her mother, Rachel and her father look for a fresh start by moving to a new town. After befriending classmate Michelle Lowe, Rachel soon realizes that her new 'best friend' may not be the girl she first appeared to be. Rachel's visions could be the key to stopping a series of violent attacks against the town's children and unlocking the puzzle behind a grim murder.
Is it good movie?
This little TV movie debuted on Lifetime, which is not a good sign for many flicks. I think that's probably because the director is female but I'll let you know that this isn't the kiss of death for this flick. This little ghost story is mostly just fine, although I can guarantee you that you'll have just about completely forgotten about it by the time the next day rolls around.

The main idea here is that Michelle is the evil child who is taking out her parental resentment on anyone within earshot and Rachel is the young lady who tries to play the straight and narrow (and she can see evil spirits). The biggest problem with this movie is pacing. Within takes for-ever to get going and the plot is so familiar that the audience is way, way ahead of the plot before the movie finally gets through the paces. When the movie finally picks up steam, it seems to completely rush through the rest of the plot like it ain't no thing.

Other than that though, the movie is pretty pedestrian and was interesting enough to get through at least once. The child acting from Mia Ford and Sammi Hanratty is quite good. Mia is saddled with the 'I see dead people' role, while Sammi has to infuse her little Omen character with a bit of pathos in order to try and round her out a bit.

This isn't an overly gory film and besides a cheap scare or two, I can only see this being overly scary to parents or people who work with children on a regular basis. Adults are forced to watch the limited reasoning abilities of children who try to juggle friendship and their better judgment. If you're down for that sort of thing, you might want to watch this film on a lonely Sunday evening but don't expect to lose any sleep over it.
Video / Audio
Video is presented in 1.78:1 Widescreen and isn't impressive. If you are a nitpicker, you'll notice a fair amount of artifacting and edge blurring throughout.

Audio comes in English Dolby Digital 5.1 and sounds just fine.
The Extras
Not even so much as a menu.
Last Call
Within is a serviceable little TV film that parents might enjoy. It tells a familiar story and takes awhile to do it, although it is fairly competently done. Gorehounds and serious horror fans need not apply.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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