Darkness

Darkness

3.5 4
Director: Jaume Balagueró

Cast: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen

     
 

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Directed by Jaume Balagueró, Darkness follows father and husband Mark (Iain Glen), his wife (Lena Olin), and their two children (Anna Paquin and Stephan Enquist) on their move to an outwardly quaint country home. Though the initial housewarming party is widely celebrated by neighbors, their houseguests become steadily fewer as a series of creepy happeningsSee more details below

Overview

Directed by Jaume Balagueró, Darkness follows father and husband Mark (Iain Glen), his wife (Lena Olin), and their two children (Anna Paquin and Stephan Enquist) on their move to an outwardly quaint country home. Though the initial housewarming party is widely celebrated by neighbors, their houseguests become steadily fewer as a series of creepy happenings indicate that the house is home to more than their family. Sure enough, the lights begin to flicker incessantly on and off, while Mark's Huntington's disease makes a comeback after a ten-year dormancy. Regina (Paquin) expects that the problem stems from the house itself, but no one believes her. Determined to prove her case (particularly after mysterious noose marks begin to appear on her brother's neck), Regina decides to pay a visit to the man (Fermi Rexach) who built the house to begin with. ~ Tracie Cooper

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
With central plot points concerning children, the occult, and the ultimate realization of pure evil, Spanish director Jaume Balagueró's sophomore effort shares a lot in common with his freshman feature, The Nameless. Despite such striking similarities between the two films, with Darkness Balagueró nevertheless crafts an eerie, menacing, and unusually classy hybrid of The Shining and The Amityville Horror that will no doubt provide ample scares for the adventurous fear junkie. Balagueró is a director whose masterful use of creepy imagery has provided his first two features with an effectively overwhelming sense of dread, and there's no question that he and cinematographer Xavi Giménez (who also shot The Nameless) know how to shoot a stylish and aesthetically appealing chiller. They use shadows and light to remarkable effect in Darkness, giving the film an ominous texture, and its muted color scheme provides a staggering sense of spiritual suffocation. The only elements holding Darkness down are the sometimes muddied plot points and poor performances by some key players. Though the former can be casually forgiven by those willing to overlook such minor plot shortcomings in favor of effective chills, the presence of a talented cast makes the latter somewhat inexplicable, bringing some to question Balagueró's ability to solicit effective performances from his players. Cribbing from The Shining for his unhinged, potentially dangerous father routine, Iain Glen's performance simply recalls that of Jack Nicholson (or Terry O'Quinn from The Stepfather), while mother Lena Olin is given little to do other than sulk and deny the menace that threatens her children. Thankfully, actors Anna Paquin and Fele Martínez instill the perceptive youngsters with a believable blend of innocence and intuition that is key to the effectiveness of the film. In the end, it's their performances that could have easily made or broken Darkness, and when all is said and done, the film succeeds thanks to their sizable contributions and Balagueró's seductively bleak vision. With a coda that is suitably faithful to that unwavering vision, Balagueró has set himself apart from the pack as one of the few filmmakers brave enough to follow through on such dark concepts, and one of the few true visionaries working in horror today.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2005
UPC:
0786936287585
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
NR
Source:
Dimension
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:42:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Darkness Illuminated: Behind the Scenes of Darkness; Theatrical trailer; Teaser; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound; Widescreen (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 televisions; French language track; Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anna Paquin Regina
Lena Olin Maria
Iain Glen Mark
Giancarlo Giannini Albert Rua
Fele Martínez Carlos
Fermi Reixach Villalobos
Stephan Enquist Paul

Technical Credits
Jaume Balagueró Director,Screenwriter
Elena Arnao Casting
Eva Arretxe Costumes/Costume Designer
Carles Cases Score Composer
Fernando de Felipe Screenwriter
Luis de la Madrid Editor
Carlos Fernandez Executive Producer
Dani Fontrodona Sound/Sound Designer
Xavi Giménez Cinematographer
Julio Fernández Executive Producer
Guy J. Louthan Executive Producer
Salva Mayolas Sound/Sound Designer
Llorenç Miquel Production Designer
Antonia Nava Executive Producer
Matt Western Casting
Brian Yuzna Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. New House [11:07]
2. A Small Attack [6:19]
3. Afraid of the Dark [5:55]
4. Electricity [6:06]
5. Everything's Fine [7:14]
6. "What's Wrong With You?" [10:04]
7. The Architect [7:43]
8. "We're Watching You" [7:36]
9. The Intermediary [9:49]
10. The Great Liar [8:20]
11. "Darkness Is Wise" [11:17]
12. Don't Be Afraid [6:01]
13. End Credits [4:32]

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