“Little Girl’s Secret” / “Wait Till Helen Comes”: Film review

I expected more of this.
Sophie Nélisse turns in an impressive performance as the confused teenaged girl caught in the middle of a dysfunctional family attempting to start afresh in an old house on the outskirts of a small town. The rest of the acting is mostly forgettable, and the CGI ‘shimmery ghost girl’ is downright awful in its cheesiness. There are lots of forced and highly derivative devices at work here – the cutesy retro 80s kids with the teenage daughter listening to cool 80s music (The Cure’s “A Forest”) like “Stranger Things”; the old house complete with Amityville attic room windows; the drinking husband struggling with a book of doubtful promise, family car driving through chilly winter forests, and local old cluster bestowing the secret wisdom on the child seer (“I could see it – you’re special”) a-la “The Shining”; and a lake-swallowed corpse (“What Lies Beneath”?), yet none of this mudgy merging amounts to much.

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