Lisa Johnson (Abigail Breslin) has been reliving the same day before her 16th birthday. She’s the only one in her family that’s aware the day is stuck on repeat, and they think she’s acting out when she tries to explain. A thick fog that envelops the house prevents her from leaving. It doesn’t take long before she realizes she’s reliving the day before her family was murdered, and her killer is about to claim his next victims.
Because this movie is set up like a haunted Groundhog Day, the characters tend to feel one dimensional. You’re so focused on Lisa’s attempts to break the routine of the repeating day that no one is fully developed. Abigail Breslin’s performance outshines this flaw; you get wrapped up in her frustration, her rebellion, and her determination to save the living family from her fate.
The pacing was well executed, and for the first two-thirds of the movie you’re hooked as they slowly layer in clues. You want to know what happened to the missing clothes Lisa’s mother accuses her of taking. You want to know what’s behind the little door. There are so many questions that director Vincenzo Natali does an excellent job of answering at just the right moments.
It derails in the final third when everything is finally revealed. The climax is unoriginal and disappointing and with the mystery solved you’re no longer as invested.
Beautifully shot and strong pacing make it worth a viewing, just prepare for a weak final act.