Mild scares rustle the autumnal mood of "The Legend of Lucy Keyes," a modest New England psychological horror tale that could easily be dubbed "Amityville Jr." Toplining Julie Delpy in a role unlike anything in her career, pic is too routine to stir up much energy or portent about the present-day impact of the mysterious disappearance of a little girl named Lucy Keyes.

Mild scares rustle the autumnal mood of “The Legend of Lucy Keyes,” a modest New England psychological horror tale that could easily be dubbed “Amityville Jr.” Toplining Julie Delpy in a role (caring mother chasing down ghosts) unlike anything in her career, pic is too routine to stir up much energy or portent about the present-day impact of the mysterious disappearance in 1755 Princeton, Mass., of a little girl named Lucy Keyes. High-def lensed pic is a certain item for cable pickup, after stops at mostly minor fests.

Jeanne and Guy Cooley (Delpy and Justin Theroux) move with their girls Lucy and Molly (Cassidy Hinkle, Kathleen Regan) to Princeton for a solar energy project Guy is overseeing. Local landowner Samantha Porter (Brooke Adams) helps Guy lobby the skeptical locals, but the project starts unraveling even as Jeanne senses the presence of Lucy’s ghost running around the nearby woods. Jeanne is further haunted by the previous accidental death of her third daughter, giving Delpy some psychological ballast for a good if unremarkable perf in genre territory. Pic was shot in Princeton area where the Keyes disappearance actually occurred.

The Legend of Lucy Keyes

Production

A Moody Independent & IPW presentation in association with Uncommon Prods. and High Output, Inc. (International sales: Voltage Pictures, Los Angeles.) Produced by Mark Donadio, J. Todd Harris, Miriam Marcus. Executive producers, John MacNeil, Marc Toberoff, Bill Haney, Tim Disney. Co-producers, John Cini, Gary Henoch. Directed, written by John Stimpson.

Crew

Camera (Technicolor/B&W, HD), Gary Henoch; editors, Joel Plotch, Stimpson; music, Ed Grenga; production designer, Dr. Roger Danchik; art director, Joe Barillaro; costume designer, Stephanie Carter. Reviewed at Santa Barbara Film Festival, Feb. 4, 2006. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Julie Delpy, Justin Theroux, Brooke Adams, Mark Boone Jr., Jamie Donnelly, Michele Greene, Cassidy Hinkle, Kathleen Regan.

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