In the psychological thriller Lavender, Abbie Cornish plays Jane, a small-town mom who was present at the murder of her family thirty years prior. Did she do it? Or was it someone else? She grew up a foster kid, and now she generally has a bad attitude, even towards her dull husband (Diego Klattenhoff) and precocious daughter (Lola Flanery). Now she spends her time photographing old, rundown, empty homes because...therapy? Obviously there's a connection, and it emerges in full force when an accident triggers Jane's memories of the murders.
There's not a lot of complexity to Lavender; not to Jane's mental state, not to the mystery surrounding her family's murder and who is responsible, or to the laborious plot which unfolds with the speed of a corpse. It doesn't help that director and co-writer Ed Gass-Donnelly indulges in every genre cliché this minor little story can sustain; weird family members, mysterious children, earnest psychiatrists who look like Justin Long. And a repetitive score that suggests Jane's gloomy mental state better than the script does.
What few scares there are don't arrive until nearly an hour into the 90 minute film, but honestly, those looking for thrills have come to the wrong place. Dermot Mulroney plays the brother of Jane's dead father, and he now runs the home where they were all killed. There's something off about that guy. Weird things keep happening now that she's back home, like packages arriving from parts unknown. Lavender won't keep you in suspense long about what's going on. In fact, it won't keep you in suspense at all.
Rating: 1 out of 5