After being shown “a few minutes of footage” from Peter Jackson‘s The Lovely Bones (as well as “an exceptionally handsome trailer”), N.Y. Times writer Terrence Rafferty writes that Jackson “appears to have made the attempt to be faithful to Alice Sebold‘s wistful, lyrical tone, but there are indications, too, that he hasn’t entirely abandoned his hyperbolic horror style: the looming close-ups, the ominous shadows, the fast, vertiginous tracking shots.

The Lovely Bones star Saoirse Ronan.

“It’s always tricky for filmmakers who have earned their reputations in fantasy and horror to go respectable without losing the disreputable vigor that made their work worth paying attention to in the first place. And Mr. Jackson’s early career is more vigorously disreputable than most.”

Exactly. This is what I’ve been saying all along. Jackson has gotten to a point in his career in which subject matter or theme or tone, even, matters less than it used to. There is really only one law, one rule — he must be “Peter Jackson.” He must underline, be frenzied, be show-offy, whip up the lather, goad his actors into emphatic modes, etc.