While She Was Out (2 stars)

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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