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The Dark Hours (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Paul Fox

Starring:
Kate Greenhouse/Samantha
Aidan Devine/Harlan
Iris Graham/Melody
Gordon Currie/David
PLOT-CRUNCH
Head shrinker Samantha Goodman (Greenhouse) hooks up with her husband and hot young sister in a cabin in the woods for some RnR. Psycho a go-go Harlan Pyne and his boyfriend crash the gathering and it gets ugly.
THE LOWDOWN

She spent years getting into the mind of a monster... Now he's getting into hers.

 The Canadian made The Dark Hours got lots of good press upon its release last year and having now watched it, it’s easy to understand why. The script was tighter than a lube-less trinket with sharp dialogue, layered characters and an even pace. The horror at hand was restrained yet mucho efficient. Not only was the tension level jacked to “I can’t take this anymore and am loving it” often enough but when the “violence” chips fell, they fell hard! There was one scene in this film having to do with a pair of pliers that had me cringing more than that time I banged the ugliest broad in my high school... after an arts and craft meet. Ouch that hurt! And I mean the set piece and the unattractive dame…feisty!

Hookers and champagne go out to director Paul Fox (who honed his skills on Degrassi: The Next Generation of all places), who skillfully and ingeniously captured the psyche of his lead protagonist via his surreal visuals and sly non-linear ways of communicating certain scenes. Was it a tad artsy fartsy? You bet it was! Did it border the line of pretentiousness! Si senor! But it never crossed it; hence I enjoyed the unique take on the material as it upped the choke-hold factor of the piece. The fact that the characters’ “shades of grey” were revealed progressively, through vicious games only upped my involvement in the picture. I loved learning more about these flawed folks and loved the sicko ways I got the info even more! There’s nothing like the theme of “betrayal” popping up to tickle my fancy! Could relate to that one! Lastly, actor Aidan Devine totally owned as the nut job in search of good old fashioned vengeance. Commanding presence, menacing charm and charisma galore, I was almost rooting for him…I said almost…the guy was way to freaking nuts for me to back him up.

On the bah side of things, I caught myself frustratingly thinking a few times "jump the killer you twats", you can do it as he was "one", they were "three" and he had the gun lodged in his pants. But I let that go, not a huge deal. I was also a speck peeved at the key sex scene in the film as the girl (Gorgeous Iris Graham ) involved kept her clothes on. Come on! We’re Canadians! We DON’T nasty with our clothes on in films or in real life! That took away from the sequence’s intended impact and the blood flow in my pants for that matter. My biggest beef with the flick though was actually an individual qualm as it may not apply to you. The Dark Hour was “one film” for the bulk of its running time and then became “another type of film” via its last block. Problem was, I was really digging on the first kind of movie it was. I mean I was on the edge of my seat throughout, totally involved and anticipating what was to happen next like a deadbeat at his welfare application ruling. Then the film gave me the finger, took a u-turn and went in a totally other direction. If you give me a steak and I’m loving it, don’t trade my plate in for a serving of caviar 2/3rds in…that’s rude! I was relishing that steak man!

Having sat that, The Dark Hours had most of its bases firmly covered with topnotch acting, writing and directing in the house and was definitely superior to your average horror film. Spend a couple of hours in this dark! You might boogie to it!

GORE
We get a nail in the ear, some fun with an axe, red splats and a "pliers" incident that really put me in the ringer. The violence wasn’t frequent but when it came down, it came down hard. Effectual!
ACTING
Kate Greenhouse (Samantha) was riveting as the emotional, sexy and complex lead. She gave a highly credible and grounded show. Aidan Devine (Harlan) stole the film every time he was onscreen with his mesmerizing presence and delivery. He and Greenhouse shared electrifying chemistry. Iris Graham (Melody) charmed the pants out of me (literally). What a cutie and she could act too! Gordon Currie (David) was perfectly cast as the good looking, ‘cock driven” yuppie light husband. He worked! Dov Tiefenbach (Adrian) was on the ball as the wimpy partner in crime. I bought it!
T & A
The ladies get Gordon Currie’s white ass and we don’t get squat. Bummer…
DIRECTING
Paul Fox directed with a firm hand and a keen eye. He offered up polished visuals, know-how as to evoking and sustaining tension while intelligently backing up the psychological coating through his potent style. He’s one to keep an eye on!
SOUNDTRACK
We get effective use of sounds and a creepy musical score by E.C. Woodley
BOTTOM LINE
The Dark Hours was a tight and mucho engrossing watch from start to finish slapping a solid screenplay, fine tuned acting, oppressive suspense and well developed characters my way. I was really into it! It was an almost flawless watch for me up to the last plot point that dragged the film down “for me” by switching gears in a direction that I didn’t particularly care to take on this watch. Yup I felt somewhat cheated. With that said it’s still a strong genre opus and I recommend you tap it and make up your own mind. As my grandpa always said: One man’s disposable hussy is another’s worshipped wife! Whatever that means! He was great man though! Great, great man! LOVE YA GRANDPA! RIP!
BULL'S EYE
Wil Zmak won for his screenplay for The Dark Hours at the 2006 Canadian Screenwriting Awards

VISIT THE OFFICIAL DARK HOURS SITE HERE

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