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Directed with a heavy hand by Phil Claydon, Within is a hoary haunted house thriller that lacks scares, suspense or ingenuity. Screenwriter Gary Dauberman telegraphs his intentions so far in advance that when the terrified home owners finally piece together the glaringly obvious clues, we greet their moment of wide-eyed realisation with snorts of derision. Indeed, there are more unintentional giggles than spine-chilling jolts, like when a bespectacled tyke casually blurts out to the film's teenage heroine, "You know how every neighbourhood has that one creepy house? Well, you're living in it!" The protagonists at the centre of this suburban nightmare behave recklessly and repeatedly put themselves in harm's way so it's impossible to muster compassion or concern for them when the blood-letting begins in earnest. Production values look cheap and during 88 plodding minutes, director Claydon choreographs a solitary memorable sequence: a lingering shot of the teenage daughter's face, caught in the reflection of a glass-fronted kitchen unit, as something unspeakable emerges from the darkness behind her. John Alexander (Michael Vartan) and his wife Melanie (Nadine Velazquez) move into a new home with their truculent daughter, Hannah (Erin Moriarty), who is less than thrilled about relocating during her senior year, far from her boyfriend Tommy (Blake Jenner). "It feels like I've gone from house arrest to solitary confinement," sulks the teenager, who is grounded for two months as punishment for throwing a drunken party while her parents were out. Her only allies in unfamiliar surroundings are the family cat and a kindly neighbour called Mrs Fletcher (JoBeth Williams). John foolishly asks creepy locksmith, Ray Walsh (Ronnie Gene Blevins), to secure the new property. "Tell Mr Alex not to worry about any payment just yet," Ray tells Melanie and Hannah with a lascivious grin. "You can owe me!" Soon after, Hannah senses that someone has been in her bedroom and moved her possessions including a talking stuffed bear. More strange occurrences - a dresser moving in the dead of night, photographs falling off the wall, peculiar rasping noises in the air vents - stoke Hannah's creeping dread and she revolves to discover the shocking secret of her apparently haunted home. A box of news clippings, conveniently located in the garage, tips the wink to the tragic history of the previous owners. Within unfolds predictably, without a smouldering ember of dramatic tension. Moriarty struggles in vain to conjure sympathy for her misbehaving minx, who smuggles her boyfriend into her room and drinks alcohol underage, yet expects to be believed when she spouts outlandish tales about mysterious intruders in her bedroom. Vartan and Velazquez are instantly forgettable while Blevins compensates by overacting wildly as the pantomime villain to keep us from succumbing to yawns of boredom. He fails.