The Dark

Adele (Maria Bello – The Cooler, A History of Violence) and her teenage daughter Sarah (Sophie Stuckey – Doctor Sleep) are going through a rough patch. Sarah is really angry at her mother and says that she wants to live with her father. Adele decides to go visit her estranged husband James (Sean Bean – Flightplan, North Country) who lives in Wales. On the trip there Adele starts to have weird dreams about Sarah pushing her off a cliff. Finally the two arrive at James' remote coastal house. He has a handy man named Dafydd (Maurice Roeves – The Acid House, The Last of the Mohicans) living with him. There is still much tension between mother and daughter and we even get some flashbacks to a particularly bad fight between the two. One day while out on a walk with her mother, Sarah disappears and Adele finds her shoe floating in the water. James joins in the search, but they do not find her. Adele blames herself. One night Adele sees a young girl outside of her window who she thinks is Sarah. She follows her into the abattoir only to discover it is Ebrill (Abigail Stone – first film), a girl from the previous family that lived in the house and who was supposed to have died over 60 years ago. Adele does some investigating and finds out that many inhabitants of the village committed mass suicide by throwing themselves off the cliffs because they were told by their religious leader, The Sheppard, that this was the only way to salvation. Adele begins to believe, against what everyone else believes, that Sarah is alive somewhere and that Ebrill coupled with the history of what went on in the house will give her what she needs to find Sarah. So she begins a search to find her daughter.

If you find yourself home alone on a dark and rainy Friday night then this is a good film to watch if you feel like watching a film that will attempt to creep you out. That is not to say that this is the best film ever or even a good film. It is just a film that has decent cinematography, an interesting concept, average acting (for a horror film), and is all atmosphere and not much else. It is director John Fawcett's (Ginger Snaps) attempt at recreating the Gothic type horrors of the past that did not rely on things jumping out constantly, incredible amounts of blood and gore or crazed lunatics chasing people with knives for hands. He has attempted to create a film where the dark lighting and the eerie story will be enough to scare the watcher. And it is in some parts, but some parts fail. What really is the undoing of the film is its predictability; you definitely know when a part is coming up that is supposed to be scary. That sorta defeats the purpose, doesn't it?! Fawcett uses the typical scary music, low lighting and never ending type scenes to try and scare us, but for the most part doesn't succeed. Also, there are so many twists and turns in the end that it becomes confusing and as a result boring. For a horror film the acting by Maria Bello and Sean Bean is pretty good, but their efforts is not enough to save this film. It had all the potential with a creepy Welsh landscape, interesting mythology, good camera work, and crazy homicidal/suicidal sheep….o.k., they were just silly….but it never really lives up to the potential.

Special Features:
-Alternate ending
-Previews of Ring Around the Rosie, Chasing Ghosts, When a Stranger Calls, Underworld: Evolution, The Amityville Horror (original), The Amityville Horror, Horror Compilation, The Fog, and Capote

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