I still haven't seen the original, despite having had opportunities to secure a bootleg version more than once. I would hope, though, that it's freakier than this. Certainly, it's not Gore Verbinski's fault -- having proven himself a stylist to watch with his previous two features (Mouse Hunt and The Mexican, both of which strike me as underrated), he directs the living hell out of this thing, making it just as moody and suggestive as it needs to be.Nor is it the fault of the people in front of the camera; the film benefits from a fine performance by Naomi Watts, and is filled to general competence by the rest of the cast. The wild card in the equation, in my eyes, was always the presence of screenwriter Ehren Kruger. With every subsequent film that bears his mark, Arlington Road looks like a fluke -- the man is simply too in love with ironic reversals and trick endings, plot holes be damned. This film does have the full Kruger compliment of silly twists, but that's the source material's fault. No, what Kruger appears to have brought to the table is a sheer lack of urgency. You'd think a movie about people who find out they have a week before a ghost kills them would manage to be anything but humdrum. You'd be wrong. And when the film finally does rouse itself for a bravura climax, it's too late -- the plot has already collapsed onto itself. But despite my grievances, I almost want to recommend the film just for the coda. The climax proper is what will hook a lot of people, but the last three minutes of the film are what will stick with me. It's a freaky, alienating stinger that whips the whole thing back on the audience and leaves you something to chew on in the car. (Naturally, the larger implications of it sailed over the head of the teeny-bop multiplex audience I was with.) If only the rest of the film didn't vaguely suck.