I saw this at a film festival, with the director (and apparently, the cast) in attendance - and I can't have been the only person who wondered how they felt, having the entire audience laughing their heads off at the acting and the dialogue!
So, nine mostly upper-crust school friends reunite at a Scottish estate, and before you know it they're all being killed off (which is no great loss, unfortunately). If you've seen Shocker (1989) or Fallen (1998) you'll already know what sort of thing I'm alluding to.
And now, some thoughts:
The story is not particularly original, and the dialogue (above all else) is, occasionally, the most appallingly fake I have ever come across.
I don't like to single people out, but (here I go, obviously) Paris Hilton somehow fails at playing a ludicrously wealthy and vain socialite WHICH IS WHAT SHE IS IN REAL LIFE! Astounding.
All of the characters get their fair share of atrocious lines, but only one person figures out what's going on - and then (out of nowhere!?) comes up with a set of 'rules' of what's going on, and spends the rest of the movie explaining them to the others.. It's as clumsy as as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.
I could go through what's wrong with almost every scene, but the one that really sticks out (and had everyone screaming with laughter) was..
*SPOILER* ..when the trainee doctor hears the bad guy trying to break into the drawing room, picks up a poker from the fireplace (as a weapon) and hands it to the girl dying on the couch!! It's much funnier than it sounds. And while I'm here - how come nobody remarked on the book pages changing from all saying 'I am returned' to having a burned hole through the middle (?) and being full of illustration? And where did the staff go!? And was there a single person in the audience who didn't know (after the first five minutes) who was going to survive?
*END OF SPOILER*
Was there anything I did like? Well, to be honest - the special effects were fine (although the fake snow was awful). I liked the decor in the house. The cast are quite attractive. And the opening credits are quite cool (although most thriller opening credits are starting to look the same to me - with the notable exception of Panic Room).
The climax was fairly run-of-the-mill, but the terrible Epilogue (on the porch) had us all in fits of laughter again. Stepping out of the cinema just afterwards, I heard one of the Festival guys chatting to a small group of people say "..but I promise, all the other movies are better".
And finally, to revisit my summary - how does a terrible script and a poorly contrived plot ever get to this stage without someone saying "you know what, we really need to re-write this rubbish before we can shoot it." - before the entire audience says it for you? There are all sorts of reasons for terrible acting to sneak through (budget, nepotism, that sort of thing) - but no excuse for such an awful screenplay to begin with.
Horror/Thriller fans who can get this on cheap rental - there's a good chance you'll find it hilariously bad.
Non-Horror/Thriller fans - stay away, because you won't see the irony and you'll think they're all this bad.