Lavender full movie review - A horrendous mess
There wasn't a whole lot to like about 'Lavender'. The story was bland, the cast was mundane and the endless attempts to create a creepy and tense atmosphere failed miserably. Let's start with the story.
In a way there really isn't one because we the audience never actually know what is going on. Things keep happening, but we have no idea why. There's no mystery for us to solve or plot for us to figure out along with the characters, because nothing is ever explained to us. All we know is that a mass murder happened in a house 20 years ago. For a thriller/mystery to work the audience needs to be seeing things with more clarity than the characters. They don't need the answers, just the problem put clearly in front of them. That does not happen here.
Then there's the cast. It would have to be said that Abbie Cornish can not carry a film in the lead role. There are two ways to make it in Hollywood. Either be incredibly beautiful, or be a hell of an actress. Some can manage both, Cornish can manage neither. I'm not sure how Justin Long got roped into being in this either. I thought he was above roles like this, but apparently not. Also Lola Flanery, one of the main child actresses in the film, was distractingly bad. Generally, child actors and actresses these days are of a much higher standard than they used to be. Flanery though needs to keep working on her trade.
Then there's the endless hallucinations the audience has to put up with. Hallucinations are only a minor step up from dream sequences. I understand it was part of the story (in a way), but when your film constantly relies on showing the audience things that are likely going to turn out to be nothing of importance, it's not a good sign. Even if the film does later clarify that they were more important than they were first understood to be, they were still incredibly annoying for the first 80 minutes of run time whilst we still thought they were nothing.
I think 'Lavender' was really banking on its ending to impress audiences and just hoping that they forgot about all the terrible stuff leading up to that point. Sadly, it's far from impressive enough to achieve that. There are much better thrillers out there than this to see. Watch one of them.