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DVD: The New Daughter

Submitted by admin on May 18, 2024 – 1:23 pmNo Comment

The New Daughter marks the first American film from Spanish director Luis Berdejo. Berdejo wrote the zombie film [REC], which was remade domestically as Quarantine. New Daughter cleverly casts Kevin Costner in a twist on father-daughter plotted films as a single father whose pubescent daughter (Ivana Baquero from Pan’s Labyrinth) has attracted the attention of subterranean humanoids that live in mounds.

Berdejo wisely uses composition (the actors are often seen from the back) and tempo to build up suspense, saving the creature effects for the very end. Along either as believers or doubters are Noah Taylor, James Gammon and Samantha Mathis. The action takes place in the Carolina backwoods and the woodsy atmosphere effectively conveys something mysterious and weird.

This is serious horror thriller territory and Berdejo treats his subject with respect. Mounds do exist all over North America and their origins defy modern historical explanations. Plus with Baquero playing a young girl who’s chosen as a breeding queen by these termite like humanoids we’re in a dark area of the soul. Costner cannot rely on his kids being cute moppets and steps up to the plate with his turn as at first a confused adult, and then an avenging father.

The New Daughter played a week in literally a handful of theaters but fortunately debuts today for all to see on DVD.

- Michael Bergeron

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