Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
|Featuring||Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, Stephan Enquist, Giancarlo Giannini|
|Distributor||Dimension Films (Miramax)|
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “There’s something in this house… Something ancient and dark that remains still, hidden and silent. It can only wait, having been concealed in the shadows for years. In fact, its milieu is darkness. Only in it can it show itself and move. It even takes its name: DARKNESS. It’s lived here since someone tried to call it, more than forty years ago. Because this house hides a secret, a terrible past, and inconceivably evil act… Seven children, faceless people, a circle that must be completed. And blood, lots of blood…
But something went wrong. One of the children got away. The circle wasn’t completed. That’s why what lives here isn’t finished. It’s just waiting… It tries to carry out what it couldn’t before, making plans in the shadows, to become complete, to be, to exist… A new family has just moved into the house. A small child. An unstable father capable of losing his temper at any time. A perfect target. The right place at the right time. The pieces only have to be put in place. And then wait… Maybe the family’s daughter will be able to discover the truth; the dark secret of the past, the sinister conspiracy, the truth about what threatens them. Why is the father getting worse? What is her little brother afraid of? Why doesn’t her mother listen to her? And why do the lights keep going out?
It could be nothing happens by chance, that everything has been worked out from the start. A devilish plan, precise and exact like a time-bomb. Her father’s illness, the house, the circles, the children… Perhaps she can foresee darkness’ master stroke of play and the inevitable destiny that is closing in on her family. But maybe it’s too late.”
Review of theatrical release version (not the uncut DVD version)
I don’t know.a horror film at Christmas?! Let me begin by saying this is a horrible movie at Christmas or anytime. “Darkness” is a Spanish production that has been sitting on the Dimension Film shelves for the past 2 years. Yes, this is another one of those projects that could have stayed locked away deep inside the film vaults. Direct-to-video would have been sufficient, but director Jaume Balaguero got a definite gift.
This is a very dark, depressing movie about submitting to death and destruction.
The story begins in a typical connect the dots fashion for this genre. Horror film fans already know the drill. A family moves into a new home, and then creepy things begin to happen. Our not-so-mysterious mystery is built around a suffering father (Giancarlo Giannini) and a caring son (Lian Glen). The son made the move because his dad had experienced several violent fits. He was the sole survivor of weird happening the resulted in the deaths of several children.
Quicker than you can say “predictable,” the caring son’s daughter (Anna Paquin) and son (Stephen Enquist) are at risk. The spirits of six children begin to expose the fact that grandpa may just have a hidden agenda. The mom (Lena Olin) is in denial of any problems.
“Darkness” is a hopeless and meaningless trip down Terror Lane. The acting is so so. The filming is dark and mediocre. It won’t take viewers long to see why this movie was held back. It might take you a little bit longer to figure out why it was released at all. I must also note that this movie was originally rated “R” and edited to fit the PG-13 standards.
You may not be too excited by the other Holiday releases. Let me just say you can skip this one at both the box office and the rental.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Minor