The Dark Movie Review

With a marquee that features the names Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings) and Maria Bello (A History of Violence), plus the current infatuation with supernatural horror, you'd think a film like The Dark would merit a better fate than heading straight to DVD.

Well, someone at the studio must have actually watched it when they were making the decision. The Dark is a confusing and derivative mess of a film, though its strong start and solid performances would have you believe otherwise.

The story begins with Adèle (Bello) and daughter Sarah (Sophie Stuckey) on a road in Wales. The car gets stuck, Adèle falls asleep and dreams that Sarah has vanished, and when she suddenly awakes, sheep are menacingly standing around the car! Yes, sheep. Eventually we find out that the duo is visiting Adèle's estranged husband James (Bean), and soon enough Sarah has vanished for real. Adèle decides that the local legend of a girl named Ebrill (Abigail Stone) that vanished to a place between life and death must be true. And so she decides to try to go there to find Ebrill, who she's certain is holding Sarah there with her.

The mood, the characters, and the plot are all extremely reminiscent of The Ring, which is probably what sunk the film more than its completely incomprehensible second half. Otherwise sane individuals go nuts at the drop of a hat. Rationality flies out the window as director John Fawcett goes for cheap thrills and chills instead of anything resembling coherence. Ultimately I lost interest altogether during Adèle's supernatural spiral.

Based (loosely, it seems) on a book called Sheep (ahem).

The DVD includes an alternate semi-happy ending.

Cast & Crew

Starring : , , Richard Elfyn, , Abigail Stone, Sophie Stuckey


Comments

The Dark Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 2005

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