WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Adèle (an awesome Maria Bello) decides to take her daughter to visit her father (an equally awesome Sean Bean). They head to the rough coast of Wales, where they learn of an old Celtic legend. The legend involves bringing someone you love back from the dead. Well, oh darn their daughter drowns mysteriously. Time to dig into that ye old legend! For the next hour and a half, sheep, water, and the dark collide.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The horror genre is the HARDEST genre to film for. It’s equally difficult to review because the world of horror is so subjective. What one person deems “scary” another person may find simply stupid. If you look at the popular, good horror films, you may find that they are those films that a large number of different populations find freaky. In the case of THE DARK, I personally found it to be not only disappointing but a waste of time. An important caveat as part of this review is that almost everything about this film is top notch. The acting, the cinematography, the editing, and the direction are all something you’d expect from a master of horror (not to imply that John Fawcett is). No, the problem lies in the screenplay. I think the initial tale is quite interesting and different dealing with Celtic legends. The problem exists in that there is nothing to fear. It takes nearly 45 minutes for something to happen and when it does, it’s just not “freaky.” With so much great build up, you HAVE to deliver, especially with today’s audiences who have “seen it all.” Plus, there’s a lot of cheap scares.
The only other real problem also lies in the dialogue. With lines like “They kept themselves to themselves,” you have to wonder who comes up with this stuff. Also the whole front end of the script could have been cut out, so really I guess my real beef is with the source material. Again, everything about the production would make M. Knight proud. Unfortunately, as with a lot of other horror films, this one is best left in the dark.
This DVD is bare bones which is unfortunate, because I wanted to see how this sucker got started and what they thought about the story, etc.
The only feature is an Alternate Ending, which ends up being more depressing and confusing than the original.
THE DARK was promising on so many levels, but failed to deliver on them. Great production and acting make the pain hurt even more. The lousy script and dialogue don’t help matters either. The DVD, however carries the best transfer around and the audio isn’t too shabby either.
Props 2 > Sean Bean, Mario Bello, and those horror directors lucky enough to make good shite over the years.
Final D >> Not worth the time.