This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
boardsofcinema’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Watched w/ YMS Commentary.
Believe it or not, this and The Village are the only M. Night films I've (currently) ever seen. It's been a while since I last watched the former, but although some parts of it were definitely better than others, it never came as close to simultaneously boring and irritating me as this. I wouldn't even really call it "funny-bad"; it's just one tedious, convoluted first act that led to some half-formed attempts at action, then ended. No, wait, it ends after we see a giant CG eagle literally swoop up our heroine... from the POV of an empty swimming pool. A swimming pool that, despite what the title may lead you to believe, is only ever touched in two scenes of this near-2-hour long movie. Huh.
The music, cinematography, and production design were serviceable at points, which did nothing to make the experience any less painful to get through. If if it weren't for that commentary making the film semi-watchable, not much time would've passed by before I fell asleep, so at least M. Night fulfilled his goals of making this a "bedtime story" (don't ask me why the MPAA gave this anything higher than a PG lmao): a term actually used in multiple scenes to describe something.
In hindsight, it's hilarious how in my review of The Village, I dub Night's cameo at the very end "awfully pretentious" and "arrogant" (come to think of it, that's probably a massive exaggeration anyway) when his *major* supporting role here cranks all of that up to 11. There's even an obnoxious "film critic" character with a cartoonishly stern look on his face in every scene; if you listen closely enough, you can hear M. Night shouting "Get it? If you say anything negative about this movie, you're just like him!!!" from behind the camera.
In the film's one and only (human) death scene, he gets viciously mauled (albeit off-camera) by a growling wolf-monster that serves at the film's antagonist. That'll show those fools who dare disliked The Village, Mr. "I'm a genius and nobody understands me" Night.