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COLD AND DARK
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Reviewed by: Ryan Doom

Directed by: Andrew Goth

Starring:
Luke Goss
Kevin Howarty
Matt Lucas

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A pair of cops investigate a series of brutal murders only to find that one of the cops is possessed with something unnatural. Then the mystery begins.
Is it good movie?
There is something about being sent a blank DVD with nothing except the words Cold and Dark inscribed on it. Thereís no knowledge of what the film contains. No stars. No plot. Not even artwork to set the mood properly. One watches the thing cold. From childhood, weíre told to never judge a book by its cover, but with Cold and Dark you know within the first five minutes that the title fits it well; it opens with a man digging a grave under the blue tones of morning light. That sounds cold and dark to me. In fact, that should have been a hint that it's visually appealing with plenty of style and little else to offer.

Cold and Dark possesses an X-Files feel without any of the loveable characters or an intriguing plot and it being the British police version where not one person enjoys their job. In fact, these characters are completely unlikable with not a single personality shining through. Hell, no one even has a limp or an eye patch to set them apart. And letís face it, without any characterization or minimal background story, itís very difficult to stay into in the story if you have no invested interest. Iím not talking major details here outlining a traumatic childhood or anything, just something to make a character three-dimensional. Make me care. The most information given on John Dark (Luke Goss, our lead) is that he takes baths. And smokes. Oh, and he has a dog. A big one. Wow, donít get too deep. He seems likable with a friendly smile, but heís given nothing to work with except that heís involved with a creepy partner. That's it. We follow him from crime scene to crime scene, to the police station and through a ridiculous love story that's as hollow as a Halloween pumpkin. Don't get too deep now.

The actual story is as thin as the actual DVD, something about a pair of cops whoíre tracking a network of bad guys. What these bad guys do, I never understood, but this is one of those British crime films that drops about 30 different names throughout and relies heavily on narration to fill in the gaps, which results in disaster. Narration should be used to give insight into the character, not just sum up the plot. Now where was I? Oh, so what makes Cold and Dark X-Files-ish? Why am I asking a question? Well Cold and Dark quickly moves from police drama to supernatural thriller as Darkís partner, the very pasty Mr. Shade, is seemingly more than just a good detective. Heís a creepy bloke (is that the right British term?) who's present at each discovered mutilated body in one of many abandoned warehouses and docks shown throughout.

Of course, nothing is revealed as to Mr. Shade mysteriousness until the credits near so I wonít give away his powers. Youíll think heís a vampire since heís a spitting image of one, but youíd be wrong. In fact, I found the big reveal disappointing. I've seen it before and done much more effectively. The film tries to build suspense and intrigue as it tells us nothing thatís going on. Nevertheless, I just grew bored with all the dark lighting and stacks of cut up and bloody bodies. While the supernatural weirdness initially draws you in, this isnít a rewarding flick; itís all style and no substance. Cold and Dark wanted to be X-Files meets Seven, but to bring up the names of those films is an insult.

Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen. 1.78:1.

Audio: Dolby Surround Sound.
The Extras
None.
Last Call
It shoots to be a supernatural version of Seven, but that's like slapping Brad Pitt in the face with a poverty-stricken child. If you're looking for a moody film with zero characterization and absent of a fulfilling plot, then have I found the film for you.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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