Big Brother
 Wine and Spirits
 Keeping it Reel
 White Noise
 Fist Deep
 Bar Crawl


DARKNESS: a horror movie for those of us with A.D.D.

For starters, I’ll give all the “positive aspects” of this movie, before tearing it apart. Fortunately, there are only a few:

Decent cinematography. Had the camera work/lighting been used in a film with, say, a plot...or bearable acting, it would have been far more greatly appreciated.

There are a few typical creepy “horror movie” special effects. However, these effects have been blatantly ripped off from past classics, dating as far back as fifteen years ago; and are, in no way shocking, scary, or worth the cost of renting this movie.

It is only 83 minutes long. This is a plus, and I feel they could have actually done it in much less of the time, for a much lower cost, and with much less aggravation for the viewing audience.

Those are all the positives. For those of you that care, I’ll try to explain the storyline (or lack thereof), and why I hate this movie.

“Darkness” is, apparently, an American remake, written and directed by Jaume Balaguero, known for several Spanish films. Due to the fact it was originally set in Spain, the makers of this movie decided to set this version in Spain as well, but for no good reason. The entire cast (including extras, passers-by on the street, and everyone else) speaks only fluent English at all times. Answering their phones, yelling out on the sidewalk for help, it doesn’t matter they were born and raised in Spain…they only speak English. This only adds to the unrealistic quality of “Darkness”. There is no reason to cast American extras if a movie is shot in another country. But this is the least of our problems. This film is painfully slow, very poorly acted (think: School Play), overly dramatic, and SO cliché, it’s unbelievable. There were at least three scenes that were such obvious rip-offs of “The Shining”, I almost can’t believe a lawsuit wasn’t involved. The holes in the plot are constant, the predictable nature of the movie is there from beginning to end, and then there are the parts that simply don’t make sense. Here are a few examples, for those of you that don’t mind me spoiling all the “surprises”:

Little brother keeps waking up with black eyes, welts, bruises, etc…claiming the spirits of the dead children haunting the house are beating him. His mother (who is apparently fully aware they just moved into a house where all these kids got murdered), is all, “Huh, he must have fallen again”, despite her daughter suggesting she should look into the fact the kid’s all beat up.

Older daughter has been trying to solve a 20 year old murder case. With just one trip to the library, she’s almost gotten all the clues. As ridiculous as that seems, it gets worse. She heads over to Grandpa’s place, and realizes that for the past two decades, he’s had newspaper clippings posted on his bulletin board of all the kids he killed a few decades back. IN HIS LIVING ROOM. Meanwhile, her father has been trying to figure all this out for just about his entire life. What a shame nobody noticed Grandpa was a crazed lunatic. So, the maniacal old man gags and ties his Granddaughter to a chair, rants insanely about how she’s the next victim for a couple minutes, catches her boyfriend trying to sneak in to save her, injects him with something that knocks him out cold in the hallway, and then…let’s her go??? What? Wasn’t his devious plan just unmasked? Why had he set her free? Of course, there is no answer. To make matters worse, we never see Grandpa again. Let’s just assume he’s out killing again. The final twenty minutes of the film involve the girl and her family, trapped in their home (all the doors have become mysteriously locked, so clearly…no one can get out), and being deceived by the hallucinatory images of….demons?…..ghosts?…the undead? Hell, who cares, it’s never explained! There is good news though…everyone dies at the end! Although, even that is a little unclear as well, but I would like to think that’s the way it happened.

Don’t buy it, don’t rent it, don’t try to explain it to me. Thanks.

May 24th, 2005