Murder + Pyschedelic World Beyond the Grave; “The Lovely Bones”

Logan McMillen

Both parts “Silence of the Lambs” and “Alice in Wonderland” makes for one confused audience. A lesson in cinema for what works and what doesn’t.

Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is an innocent fourteen year old girl living in a suburb of Pennsylvania. Little does she know that one of her neighbors has been plotting against her, watching her as she walks home, and taking notes on everything that she does.

This cunning villain lures Susie into an underground fort that he built in a cornfield on the edge of town. What happens next is painstakingly obvious to us now, but in the 1970’s, when the movie is set, “Law and Order” wasn’t around to scare parents.

Susie roams her new home, a plane stuck in between our world and heaven, complete with cheesy psychedelic CGI effects. From here she narrates the rest of the story through a series of philosophical soliloquies focusing on the relationships that were made possible through her demise.

As time progresses she learns that by forgiving her murderer, her loved ones can move on from the suspicion that tore the family apart, and learn to love one another again.

It’s a set up for a “feel good movie” message, and when that happens the inevitable ensues. Cheesy lines. I don’t want to hear a fourteen year old girl go on about forgiving, and the meaning of life. Luckily for us Susie is fickle (like most fourteen year olds) and pulls a complete 180 at the end.

Peter Jackson’s inflated ego and budget simply make this movie worse. It seems that Mr. Jackson feels the need to add slow-motion to every movie that he does, even the serious ones.Luckily for him there was some spectacularly frightening acting by the murderous neighbor (Stanley Tucci) for without it, this movie would have fallen flat.

Everything about him embodies the man your parents warned you about when you first made a MySpace account. His cleanliness, his innocence, everything, he was the man next door you would never suspect of anything. His performance in this movie shows that nothing can be going for a movie, but one actor, and some memorable lines can make up for everything else.