December 12, 1994 12:00 PM

CBS (Sun., Dec. 11, 9 p.m. ET)


Mario Thomas and Peter Strauss star in this clunky, distressing movie based on Linda Grey Sexton’s novel Points of Light.

The film sets out as a tedious melodrama, with Tomas and Strauss as farm parents just trying to keep the wolf from the door, After some contrived foreshadowing, they lose their young son to a simple domestic accident.

Now we move to the supernatural (and equally tedious) portion of our program. Grief-swamped and guilt-racked, Thomas is haunted by the lost boy. He even sits at the easel with her and helps her paint. (Ghosts are apparently partial to the color blue.) Meanwhile, Strauss and his mom (Frances Sternhagen) understandably come to think Marlo is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. It takes an escalating series of near tragedies to snap Thomas out of her possessed state.

This movie obviously aspires to be inspirational, which makes its morbid focus all the more appalling. Also reprehensible is the film’s attempt to gratuitously milk some easy Christmas sentiment with a tacked-on “happy” ending. Add in poor acting and an insufferably sluggish pace, and you have all the makings of a…

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