In the Dark Half Movie Review

Moody and atmospheric, this low-budget British thriller gets under the skin as it explores the complex emotional life of a teen girl. And even if it's both elusive and overwrought, the film's eerie tone holds our attention.

Marie (Barden) is a 15-year-old loner who has an unnatural interest in death.

She regularly steals rabbits from the snares of her loner neighbour Filthy (Curran), to give them a proper burial. And her curiosity takes a dark turn when Filthy's young son Sean dies suddenly while she's babysitting. After the initial shock, she starts to feel that is communicating with Sean beyond the grave. Meanwhile, her mother (Marshal) is frantically redecorating their house, while her best friend (Henshaw) has grown tired of her morbid obsession.

Siddons directs the film with an intensity that never lets up, portraying the suburban neighbourhood as a gateway between the lights of the nearby city and the deep, dark woods on the other side. These trees are surrounded by looming shadows, foreboding wildlife and flickering lights, hinting that there are spirits roaming the hills. At the centre is Marie's secret bunker, where she goes to talk to Sean.

This is a rather over-serious film that never relieves the pressure with real-life comedy or off-handed interaction. Everything is played for full emotional impact, which leaves the actors stuck in one-note performances.

Still, each one is terrific as a wounded, needy person who simply can't reach out to someone nearby. Barden captures Marie's overpowering need to understand life and death long before we begin to understand why. And Curran is terrific as the town pariah whose sad, quiet existence unravels so tragically.

Like The Sixth Sense, this film overlays a personal drama with a supernatural horror story while slowly filling in the details of the mystery until we have the full picture. Along the way there are some surprises in store, and director Siddons is maintains a fairly relentless sense of downbeat gloom. But this also gives the film a charge of genuine terror, including a few big jolts. The emotional layers of these characters are so raw that the film is increasingly painful to watch. But that only means that the filmmakers are doing their jobs effectively.

Cast & Crew

Director : Alastair Siddons

Producer : Margaret Matheson

Starring : Jessica Barden, , , Simon Armstrong, Georgia Henshaw, Tim Lewis


Comments

In the Dark Half Rating

" Good "

Rating: 15, 2012

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

5 Seconds Of Summer Earn Record Breaking Debut At No.1 On Billboard 200

Australian pop band 5 Seconds of Summer have certainly introduced themselves...

5 Seconds Of Summer Earn Record Breaking Debut At No.1 On Billboard 200

Iggy Azalea To Make Film Debut In 'Fast & Furious 7,' Vin Diesel Reveals

One of hip-hop's most popular female artists, Iggy Azalea, is...

Iggy Azalea To Make Film Debut In 'Fast & Furious 7,' Vin Diesel Reveals

Bleachers' 'Strange Desire' - The Five Best Songs

New music from indie-pop superstars Fun. is definitely in the works, considering the multi-platinum band just...

Bleachers' 'Strange Desire' - The Five Best Songs

First Impression - Karen O Premieres First Song From Solo Album

Not many artists have their break-out year after more than a decade...

First Impression - Karen O Premieres First Song From Solo Album

"The Big Bang Theory" Is Hitting Production Delays Over Big Pay Demands From Stars

Season 8 of The Big Bang Theory is mercifully being delayed over...

Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett - Anything Goes

Lady Gaga unveils a studio video of her collaborative new single with Tony Bennett entitled 'Anything Goes'...

Lady Gaga - Anything Goes Video
Advertisement

The Celebrities That South Park Loves To Hate

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV series on the box at the moment but that hasn’t...

The Celebrities That South Park Loves To Hate

Ray J - Never Shoulda Did That Video

Ray J expresses remorse over his highly publicized sex tape back in 2007 with his self-directed music...

Ray J - Never Shoulda Did That Video

'Girls' Actress Allison Williams Lands Role Of 'Peter Pan' In NBC's Live Stage Production

NBC's forthcoming live stage production of 'Peter Pan' has just cast...

 'Girls' Actress Allison Williams Lands Role Of 'Peter Pan' In NBC's Live Stage Production


More recommendations

Advertisement