Darkness (2004)

There’s a lot I like about this film. It loses some of its charm after the first viewing (as I learned tonight), but it’s still pretty great.It helps that the cast is full of wonderful familiar faces. I love Anna Paquin, and Lena Olin, Iain Glenn, and Giancarlo Giannini are spectacular supporting cast members. I was even pleasantly surprised at how impressed I still was by the boy who played Paul.

The rest of what I like so much isn’t quite as visible. In fact, much of the terror and creep factor in this film comes from the invisible. You learn just enough to let your imagination run wild, and without many over-the-top special effects there’s quite a bit of space for your imagination to run around.¬†I also like the ambiguity of the ending, which provides further space for your imagination to do the work.

I know I was at somewhat of an advantage (or disadvantage, perhaps) having already seen the film and knowing what the twist was, but I swear the twist felt glaringly obvious this time around. Like, it took Regina and Carlos way too long to figure it out.

There aren’t many cheap thrills or jump scares in this one, but it’s creepy and tense¬†nonetheless. It manages that with only a PG-13 rating, opting for things lurking in the shadows over blood, gore, and graphic violence. I’d recommend it pretty broadly if you’re looking for a good scare.

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