Underwritten and straightforward to a fault, this science fiction morality tale drums up a few chills as it explores the downside of finding Shangri-La. Vacationers Dennis Conway (Kyle MacLachlan) and his son, Nick (Joseph Cross), come to the aid of the Lovells, a couple whose car got stuck in the mud as they fled their village. Porceeding onward to their destination, Dennis makes a stop in idyllic Springdale. The town's health-consciousness strikes Dennis as appealing, but he doesn't much care for the unfriendliness of the locals, starting with Sheriff Josh Gamble (Aaron Pearl). Unfortunately, Nick is injured in a mishap with a logging truck, forcing father and son to stay in town for a while. While Nick's broken leg mends, Dennis gets to talking with the village doctor, Sophie Weston (Alison Eastwood). Meanwhile, Sheriff Gamble and mechanic Gus (George Eads) track down the Lovells, who've died of rapid aging. While jogging in the pretty countryside around town, Dennis spots an off-limits spring. It's actually a fountain of youth, and its waters are the reason Springdale residents don’t age at a normal rate. Sophie speeds up Nick’s recovery with a dip in the healing pool, and Dennis begins to consider setting up house in Springdale. Nick is hesitant about settling down; new residents must abide by the village’s stringent policies, which include mandatory euthanasia at age 100. Sophie champions Dennis, but some of her neighbors are less enthusiastic. The Chamber of Commerce decides that Dennis’s initiation will consist of drowning Gus on his 100th birthday; the question is what Springdale’s paranoid residents will do if he refuses. This material might have made an excellent half-hour entry in an anthology series like The Twilight Zone, but the film's placid ambience strips the story of suspense.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Underwritten and straightforward to a fault, this science fiction morality tale drums up a few chills as it explores the downside of finding Shangri-La. Vacationers Dennis Conway (Kyle MacLachlan) and his son, Nick (Joseph Cross), come to the aid of the Lo… (more)