The trailer was absolutely awesome, and the concept ("Jumanji meets Evil Dead") piqued my interests in this movie like nobody's business! *BUT*... it seemed as if "EVERY" review I'd ever come across about this movie (it's "stupid story," its "dull acting," its "gaping plot holes," etc.) were enough to put me off from making one of my classic "Impulse Buys" of a movie I'd been unfamiliar with and knew next to nothing about. So for the past couple of years I'd waited... and waited... and waited... and waited for an opportunity to actually watch this movie in some form or manner in which I would not be required to part with so much as a single dime, just so I could see with my own eyes whether the trailer was somehow misleading me or if perhaps all of the "angry reviewers" were really on top of their game or if they had all just been smoking from the same bong. Well... I'd just very recently had that opportunity to finally catch this movie in its entirety in one of the "No Pay to Play" methods I use to determine whether or not a movie is going to be good enough for me to consider adding to my own personal DVD library... and it turned out that the almighty "reviewers" were in fact attempting to dissuade me from something that was so intense and so deep that I have to wonder in all honesty if they'd even watched the same movie as I had?
Yes, we all know how easy it is to pan a movie (no pun intended) when you've viewed it as a "freebie" and have invested nothing in it financially; it's something else entirely when after watching a movie under such circumstances you declare, "HELL YEAH! I'm DEFINITELY going to go out and *BUY* that one for myself!"
No, many of the "negative" reviewers are not entirely incorrect in some of their assessments -- the story can get a bit "formulaic" at times, and it *CAN* seem confusing and full of plot holes if one is mere "casually viewing" and not paying particularly close attention to the details of the story as it unfolds. One of the biggest complaints, re: the physical representation of the "Pan" character, is such a lame diss to me that I fear that these folks probably would've preferred that the thing had been done in some gaudy CGI effect rather than in the raw and very surreal way in which they presented it in this film which actually fits the mood and the tone of the movie. As for any problems I might have personally had with the movie, my biggest and only real complaint with the movie, as some others have already mentioned, was its tacked-on ending which while not anything that totally destroyed the movie still played like a safe-escape puss-out that leaves us with the sort of ambiguous ending that forces us to draw our own conclusions (a severely overdone staple in modern horror movies) rather than just letting the movie end on its raw & gritty note... in other words, they chose to go with more of a "Jumanji" type ending than one that evoked more of its "Evil Dead" element.
So there's my dilemma: recommend a movie that I think gets short shrift unjustifiably only to set myself up for flaming missiles of hatred should someone accept my recommendation and winds up agreeing with the common concensus? ...or just keep my opinion to myself and enjoy all the fun trappings this movie has to offer in the peace of my own home but feel guilty that there are others out there who might likewise have the same appreciation for this movie as I but who have been made apprehensive about wanting to take that chance on something so universally frowned upon? (sort of like how the game in the movie challenges you to bear your soul honestly... and suffer the consequences of what you've just shared with everybody -- a classic "No Win" situation)