On The Gathering
The Gathering is a movie about an American au pare, played by Christina Ricci, working in England for an archaeologist's family. She got the job after the step-mother in the family ran over her with the car. Now the au pare has amnesia with no recollection of who she is or why she was meandering around England in the first place. Then, the story gets interesting.
This is my favorite sort of thriller. There was no extraneous gore. The plot was well conceived and executed. Almost all the acting was superb. (The exception to the acting thing was a young girl who, though she did everything she was supposed to did not emote very well. I'm giving her some slack, however, because she's a little girl.)
One of the keys to a good story is that I don't instantly figure out the whole plot after seeing the first five minutes. The other part is that the surprises in the plot don't disrupt continuity or seem like they exist only to shake things up. The twists in The Gathering flowed well with the story, but did not allow for guessing till the very end.
The end was also a weaker area in the film. After the big finish, the wrap up was a little exposition heavy. Still, it did tie up the loose ends and it went by quick.
Scenery and effects were beautiful. There weren't too many special effects involved, but they blended seamlessly with the rest of the film. This movie does its job through story-telling and acting skills more than special effects.
Given the nature of her character, Ms. Ricci did a wonderful job. She reacted in believable ways to the stimuli in the story. She created a very sympathetic character; that's something rare these days. It doesn't hurt that she is also gorgeous. (I always wanted to see her reprise her role as Wednesday Addams, from the Addams Family as a twenty-something medical examiner solving weird crimes.)
I strongly recommend this flick, whether you are a Ricci fan or not. It's not too scary for the squeamish but it's thriller enough for those of us like that sort of thing.