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Darkness 2002
Description: A teenage woman moves into a remote countryside house with her family, only to explore that their gloomy fresh home has a horrifying past that threatens to destroy the family.
Released: 25 Dec 2004 Director: Jaume Balagueró Writers: Jaume Balagueró, Fernando de Felipe, Miguel Tejada-Flores (additional dialogue) Actors: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, Giancarlo Giannini Genres: Horror
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Darkness Similar Movies

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Darkness Reviews:

This film is not your typical American horror flick (which makes sense since it's a Spanish film). It's a far cry from the gory, cliché-ridden and painfully explained horror films that American audiences are used to.Darkness disturbed me on various levels. One of them was the family dynamics (notably the father's mental issues), and the recommended potential for violence. The another was the supernatural element, which was used in a subtle and truly frightening manner.I've seen thousands of horror films in my lifetime, and this is one of the best. However, if you are not one for nuances and feel that gore is a requisite from a horror movie, then stay away from this one.


Darkness was bought for distribution in 2002 as what appears to be a tax write-off on the part of Dimension Films. It has yet to see so much as a straight-to-video release in Australia, and appearances recommend that in spite of Anna Paquin's minor stardom, it never will. This is a pity, because Jaume Balagueró's economical approach to making a horror movie is something that we need more of in today's box office. Like Tobe Hooper before him, Balagueró gives the viewer short bursts of scenery for the imagination to test as a foundation. Everything that scares the viewer in this movie is the product of their imagination, which might go some method to explain the terrible reception it appears to have had on the IMDb. Trusting in the imagination of your audience is a risk, especially when a huge part of that audience has been indoctrinated vs using theirs by twenty or more years of eMpTyV. Place simply, the reception Darkness suffered in the US store can be attributed to a clash of cultures.This is not to tell the movie is not without flaws. The first half hour in particular comes across as a collection of scenes without transition. This is something that occurs often in British television, where folks are shown doing things in various territories with nothing to explain how they got there. Those who have seen Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels or any of the Law & Order series will have some concept of what I am talking about. In comedies, this can support reduce the lag time between laughs. It can also support dramas function effectively in scope. In the situation of Darkness, unfortunately, it can leave the viewer in some state of confusion as to what is meant to be happening, or the chronology of events. Subtitles are occasionally flashed across the screen to indicate what day of the week it is, but this leaves the happenings of the movie seeming to not fit.The acting, on the another hand, is top-notch. I am not ashamed to admit that the whole reason I purchased the DVD is because of how prominently Anna Paquin was featured on the cover. The whole movie rests on her slender shoulders, and she carries it heroically. Lena Olin and Iain Glen give Anna plenty to bounce off, and they all create it seem as though they thoroughly enjoyed working together. Stephan Enquist is, naturally, the weakest url in the main cast, but he holds up his end of the storyline with a grace you rarely see in one so young. Granted, the scenes he appears in are more or less specifically tailored to him, but this is only natural. This movie is the only credit listed under his name on the IMDb, so it is possible that he never even had any plans to become an actor in the first place. He is more of a plot device than a character, but he fills that role very nicely. Giancarlo Giannini appears to have bounced back nicely from Hannibal, and proves that he can deliver a nice performance when the script is right.Rather than cover up the holes in the storyline or its execution with a hodge-podge of computerised graphical effects. Darkness, on the another hand, relies upon practical results in order to deliver what some might call the cash shots. Lights flicker on and off in predetermined sequences, subliminal photos rocket across the screen to disorient the viewer, and sound is effectively placed or mixed in order to zone the viewer in the scene. The only practical result here I can seriously object to is the manner in which Jaume Balagueró shakes the camera during some of the scenes that are meant to be high-tension. This is the first time I have seen this despicable transport during a European film, and Darkness in particular reminds me of how the technique throws me out of the picture. It reminds me that I am watching a movie or DVD, not a family acting out a crisis before me. It's a shame that I have to even mention this, because the another results in the movie deliver far more punch.As I tried to create clear, this movie is very much an acquired taste. Fanatics of Paul Verhoeven's work in the Dutch movie industry will have tiny problem adjusting to the Spanish stylings of Darkness. Those who are only acquainted with the American movie industry will have a tiny more trouble, in spite of the fact that in terms of content, Darkness differs tiny from most American fare. It is the tiny things, such as the casting or the ability to present things that America's attempts to appeal to everyone disallows, that create Darkness stand out. Sure, it is a standard horror formula, but the fact that it has not been attempted in this manner for some time is a bonus. The twist ending is hardly a surprise, but it does add an unusual edge to the proceedings. In spite of some very conventional material, the end effect is anything but.In all, I gave Darkness an eight out of ten. There is plenty that it does wrong, but there is also so much that it does right. While I don't suggest it for a look at foreign movie industry, I do suggest it if you need to see that an effective horror movie can be made for less than a hundred million dollars.


See.. I really wanted to play this movie. There were moments when my heart beat faster, when the hair on my neck began to stand up, when my muscles began to tighten.. but just like a strip tease, I was left with no true action, no resolution, and cash missing from my wallet.Jaume Balagueró and Miguel Tejada-Flores apparently don't know the correct recipe for making a Horror Movie, and as such, utilized the old amateur cook's way of throwing everything into the pot.This film is really The Shining, Poltergeist, Amityville, and Hellraiser all rolled into one. Amazing, I know, but true. All the flavors are there, you can taste every of them, they just don't mix well. I'm not gonna go down the list of each thing wrong with this movie; in short, nice cinematography, mediocre acting, worse dialogue.The -real- trouble with stealing from so many film plots and combining them into one movie, aside from the resulting confusion, is while you CAN have few plots running at one time, you can't have few endings. And what does Jaume do when he runs into this problem? Just like a Freshman in English 101, you end your storyline with ellipses, "The tiny vehicle vanished into the darkness and ..... THE END" Oooh, spooky. Not really. And very anticlimactic. The ending left me confused and disappointed; almost empty.Take your $10, go rent The Shining, Poltergeist, and Hellraiser.. scare the pants off yourself, have a nice time, and forget that The Darkness ever existed. -BJamin



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