One of the more pointless releases in recent years, "Darkness" sat on the shelf for years for the obvious reason - it just didn't deserve to come to theaters. Starring Anna Paquin and some other recognizable actors, the movie is your typical haunted house movie a la "The Shining," only without the quality to make it redeeming.
I personally find Anna Paquin hot, but even her spending a lot of time in the swimming pool wasn't enough to keep me captivated. The plot of "Darkness" had some potential - the elements revolving around the father slowly going crazy were pretty creepy, and of course a bunch of murdered children leave a lot of potential. Unfortunately, "Darkness" left its potential at home, as it falls hard and flat.
The movie is never exactly boring, nor is it not without one or two creepy moments, but the story has been done so many times before that I was never able to become fully engaged. The so-called scary moments are never really scary (like a pencil rolling under the bed), and there are surprisingly few of these attempts; the ghosts don't spend much time in the picture.
Ultimately, though, the blame lies on the director. Jaume Balagueró, in his English-language debut, clearly has no idea what he's doing behind the camera. Sure, there have been countless haunted house movies before, but if done right they can at least be entertaining. The camera shakes so much, and at random times, it is hard to figure out which moments the director intended to be scary. I think the cameraman had tourette syndrome.
"Darkness" is one you can leave in the shadows.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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