When a movie earns an F cinema score, it means one of two things. It means that either the movie royally sucked, or else the film, for whatever reason, and regardless of its technical proficiency, did not sit well with the audience. In the former category we have such contenders as the recent remake of THE GRUDGE which is by all accounts awful, along with the remake of THE WICKER MAN—it has Nicholas Cage in it trying to fill Christopher Lee’s shoes, so that’s a given—and Uwe Boll’s universally derided (and deservedly so) ALONE IN THE DARK. I could add some titles to that list, movies that scored a big fat F in my grade book: THE FORSAKEN, the most blandly mediocre vampire movie ever filmed. And damn near anything by Eli Roth that *isn’t* THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS.
Then there are the films that are not technically flawed, just unpleasing to audiences. WOLF CREEK is a well-crafted Horror flick, but it’s so grim, so violent that it borders on dehumanizing at points and I expect that is the reason it earned such a low score from audiences. I KNOW WHO KILLED ME is actually not a bad movie, if one is able to divorce himself from Lindsay Lohan’s at times stoned-out-of-her-gourd performance. Put a different, competent actress in the role and it would be a perfectly serviceable little Horror movie. MOTHER! is just too damn weird to appeal to a larger audience. And now we can add THE TURNING to this list. Which of the two categories does it fall into? Is it a stinker or simply too specialized for the theater-going crowd?
It’s the latter, and it’s because of the ending. The ending sank it. I’m not surprised that it would earn such a lousy grade after leaving audiences hanging the way it did. But otherwise it’s a lovely, atmospheric affair. You can read my review of the film in full right here on this site, if you haven’t already done so.