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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 happenings


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.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Miramax Echo Bridge

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

Scene Index

Darkness Illuminated

Customer Reviews

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3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very intriguing movie! It had an original story and is full of suspense. You're kind of trying to keep up with what is going on in the movie. Seeing the movie in the theater was awesome! By the end of the movie you're like "that was it? What did I just see? Seriously, what just happened?!" It reminded me of "Vanilla Sky" in that regard. It just had one of those weird endings.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie takes forever to get to the point. I yanked it out of my DVD after 45 minutes in disgust. It's a waste of money.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was very mysterious but was boring. I jumped one time and the rest was just boring. OK movie. Overall: C, 5
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can only stand by baffled as this remarkable genre movie from the director of LOS SIN NOMBRE seems to acquire apathy all round...having seen this in a cut form in UK cinemas recently,I was delighted to obtain the American dvd,and what a surprise. Gone were any alarming jumps in story and tone,as well as ridiculous overdubbed dialogue,and what we have is a stunning black nightmare that insinuates itself into your soul. With offbeat and splendid performances from the likes of Anna Paquin,the always surprising Lena Olin,and the scary Iain Glenn (not to mention one-time Hannibal Lecter victim Giancarlo Giannini),pitch-perfect direction from the young,talented Balaguero,and a terrifying ending that actually APPEARS to be wrongly edited UNLESS YOU THINK,this bodes well for the director's third film FRAGILE,and remains for me one of the most undervalued horror films of the past twenty years. Believe me,in much the same fashion as Kubrick's THE SHINING,this is one film that people are going to look at very differently in years to come. Make sure you are in the know now and buy this splendid dvd to see what all the fuss will be about (I am deliberately not giving away the plot to maintain the surprises and shocks that you encounter along the way!) Highly recommended,and shame on the distributors that decided the best fate for this work was to let it sit on a shelf and moulder for a couple of years,and then initially cut the damned thing!! We have the last laugh now!