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Darkness (2002)

Cast: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, more...
Director: Jaume Balagueró
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Dimension
Genre: Foreign, Horror, Spain, Ghosts
Running Time: 102 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: Spanish, French
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Directed by Jaume Balagueró, Darkness follows father and husband Mark (Iain Glen), his wife (Lena Olin), and their two children (Anna Paquin and Stephan Enquist) on their move to an outwardly quaint country home. Though the initial housewarming party is widely celebrated by neighbors, their houseguests become steadily fewer as a series of creepy happenings indicate that the house is home to more than their family. Sure enough, the lights begin to flicker incessantly on and off, while Mark's Huntington's disease makes a comeback after a ten-year dormancy. Regina (Paquin) expects that the problem stems from the house itself, but no one believes her. Determined to prove her case (particularly after mysterious noose marks begin to appear on her brother's neck), Regina decides to pay a visit to the man (Fermi Rexach) who built the house to begin with. ~ Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

even Anna Paquin can't save this one by AWalter May 26, 2005 - 2:37 PM PDT
1 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Ugh, what a stinker! This is one of those films you see and then swear off ever enduring another thing by the director. The film substitutes hyper editing techniques for legitimate suspense-building. The story is sloppy and just there to tie the effects shots together. Really, this is one of those movies where you KNOW they put the effects together first, then worked backward to stitch a plot around the lumpy, ugly mess.

Gray Trying for Black by talltale May 3, 2005 - 6:04 AM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Does anyone else out there suspect that writer/director Jaume Balaguero has "family" problems? I'm no therapist, but after "The Nameless" and now DARKNESS, I think the evidence is rather conclusive. Both films deal with ultimate evil, and guess where it's to be found? Uh-huh. And the families concerned in both films are dark ones indeed. Fortunately, Balaguero has talent to burn.

While "Darkness" is no match for the earlier film, it offers a number of subtle chills, thrills and atmosphere--coming up almost as dark as its title. Unfortunately, this movie also has one of those preposterous situations ("Amityville," "House on Haunted Hill" and any number of other bad movies): the house from hell. After a few scenes, you'll be wondering why the family doesn't simply move out. Still, Balaguero's "take" on our relatives as the ultimate in self-destruction is bracing and often shocking. The cast is OK, but one does wish that Lena Olin would stop applying lip gloss and nattering on about how tired she is and her exhausting work situation (the screenwriter should be spanked).

The family is such fertile territory for this writer/director that I suspect Balaguero has not begun to mine it--or plant more mines. Probably both.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.43)
51 Votes
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