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While She Was Out (2 stars)

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While She Was Out

(18) 82min

This urban chiller executive produced by Mexican fantasist Guillermo del Toro and starring the enduringly gorgeous Kim Basinger and evergreen teen-alike Lukas Haas starts off promisingly but all too swiftly proves as lame as its pedestrian title.

Basinger plays a harassed housewife who storms out of her gated community home one dark festive season night, intending to cool off with a little Christmas shopping after a row with her abusive husband. Things go from bad to worse as she’s accosted by four violent youths and chased into a nearby forest with only the toolbox from her car to defend herself.

Thereafter, however, the victim/predator roles are reversed. Sadly, the potentially smart subversion of genre conventions is obliterated by ropey and finally laughable thriller melodramatics reminiscent of recent Brit-horror Eden Lake. Glasgow-born writer-director Susan Montford should stick to her day job as a Hollywood producer of, among other forthcoming films, Pixar’s sci-fi fantasy, John Carter of Mars. No extras.

Optimum DVD retail/rental

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