Despite this movie being mired in all the horror movie/music video conventions of the day, Maria Bello manages to stand out as usual.
The pacing, the tone and the camera tricks.
The Dark is the tale of two parents (Maria Bello and Sean Bean) whose daughter drowns and they can't find the body. Adele (Mario Bello) is having a very hard time letting go and in her search for answers comes across "a legend" about the Celtic land of the dead called, The Dark. The more Adele learns, the more she comes to believe that she can somehow save her daughter but their is an "ancient rule" that might ultimately be her undoing.
Okay, aside from this movie having the conventions of every modern day horror film, I just found The Dark to be monotonous and morose. Filled with style and imagery, ultimately I as a viewer I found that I couldn't get genuinely engaged by this film.
While I can certainly respect the amount of work that went into this alternative ending (it isn't just something that they threw on here), I do have to say that it didn't help me get more engaged with the film. As I am of the belief that a movie can be saved even up to the final moments, that sadly wasn't what happened here.
1.85:1 - Anamorphic Widescreen. There are many things about the way this film looks that I am sure will appeal to people. The color scheme, the almost bronzed look of certain shots, the way all the images are juxtaposed, etc. Make no mistake about it, The Dark looks great but for me, I need something a little more than pretty compositions to get me engrossed in the movie.
Dolby Digital. Mastered in High Definition. English 5.1 Dolby Digital. Subtitled in English and French. Close Captioned. With characters speaking in whispers (mixed with the aforementioned camera tricks), there was very little about this film that I could get excited over. I know that a lot of work went into the sound design and isn't that things sounded bad, I just prefer my movies a bit more straight forward.
A shot of Maria Bello and Sean Bean take up one side of this cover, while the other has a creepy picture of a young girl on the other. The back features a bunch of shots from the film, all of which give viewers an idea of the overall look of this movie. There is a well written description of what this film is about, a "Special Features" listing, a cast list and some technical specs.
I often talk about this but it was never more true than with The Dark. To really scare an audience, to "creep them out" as it were, I think a horror movie needs to be presented as normally as possible. It can't go to heavy on the effects or the camera moves because I think that undermines the story. It's really heard to be scared of a killer when it seems like they have been directed off screen and then touched up in post.
While I am sure The Dark has an audience, I am just not it.
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia was released April 5, 2007.