Director: John Fawcett
Starring: Maria Bello, Sean Bean, Sophie Stuckey,
Abigail Stone and Maurice Roëves
RunTime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: Shaw
Day: 5 January 2006
In a last ditch attempt to pull her family back together,
New Yorker Adelle (MARIA BELLO) travels with her young daughter
Sarah (SOPHIE STUCKEY) to Wales – to see her estranged
husband James (SEAN BEAN) and try to patch their lives back
together in the surroundings of an old cliff-top farmhouse.
But Adelle’s worst nightmares are realised when, days
into the trip, Sarah is tragically swept out to sea, pulled
into the dark depths despite her mother’s desperate
attempts to save her. While James leads the search for Sarah’s
body, a guilt-ridden Adelle is haunted by visions and traces
of her daughter – it’s almost as if Sarah is trapped
somewhere in the house itself.
Learning of an ancient local legend of a place called The
Dark – an ethereal land of the dead that is a distorted
mirror image of the real world - Adelle becomes convinced
Sarah is trying to communicate to her from this sinister parallel
When she finds a strange little girl named Ebrill (ABIGAIL
STONE) in Sarah’s bed, Adelle is sure she’s the
key to getting her daughter back. For the legend dictates
that the departed can be returned from The Dark if a sacrifice
is made – one of the living for one of the dead. And
if Ebrill is who she says she is, she died over fifty years
But all James can see in his wife is a woman in the depths
of despair and on the very edge of sanity. To him, Ebrill
is a runaway, nothing more. However, when local farmer and
handyman Daffyd (MAURICE ROËVES) recognises Ebrill from
his own shadowy childhood, one filled with stark memories
of a rural pagan cult, Adelle knows her suspicions are true.
And she takes the ultimate leap of faith – throwing
herself into the ocean, and into The Dark itself, in her frantic
attempt to reclaim her daughter’s life.
The Descent, The Fog and now The Dark. Director John Fawcett
has jumped on the bandwagon of uninspired film titles. Then
again, films of the horror genre rarely have imaginative names,
supposedly, for the lack of better words. The past five years
has also seen an increasing number of films being produced
in Asia, namely Japan and Korea. While Asian horror is trying
to revive its market for quality Asian horror, their British
counterparts have started gaining acclaim for its horror products.
of the rise of British horror can be attributed, strangely
enough to John Fawcett himself who wrote and directed the
cult-hit Ginger Snaps back in 2000. Following by example,
Danny Boyle directed 28 Days Later which introduced the world
to Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Red Eye). Neil Marshall
also followed with Dog Soldiers and most recently, The Descent.
Unfortunately, The Dark creates a slight dent to the market,
with its uninspired directing.
Ginger Snaps dealt with werewolves but with a touch of puberty.
Creative enough for the film to gain cult status in Britain,
at least. Little is known if the four years spent directing
for the television has caused Fawcett to lose touch with the
silver screen. While The Dark’s premise may be a tad
imaginative, the presentation was pretty equivocal. Fawcett
failed to present anything new and left it to cheap scare
tactics. Actually, it was more boring than it was scary.
(Maria Bello) and her daughter Sarah (Sophie Stuckey) visit
her husband James (Sean Bean) at his cottage in a remote part
of Wales. What starts off in a peaceful mood is later disrupted
by sheep jumping over a cliff and Welsh folklore that was
only inferred but never fully explained or explored.
the Welsh coast, Adele discovers to her shock that Sarah has
fallen into the waters. James, fearing the worst, succumbs
to the fact that Sarah has drowned. On the other hand, Adele
hears things going bump in the attic and it leads her to discover
Ebrill in an abattoir located not too far away from the house.
Ebrill starts to ask the weirdest of things like asking James
to become her father. Adele learns from Dafydd (Maurice Roeves),
James’ caretaker that Ebrill is the reincarnation of
the same girl who died sixty years before.
goes downhill from here as we learn of a mass suicide that
had taken place and the shepherd of the abattoir who had murdered
his followers in order for his daughter, Ebrill to come back
alive. This led to a finale that was far from lucid, coming
across as one that was completely ludicrous.
is hardly the place for the likes of Maria Bello and Sean
Bean. It takes a step back instead of putting its best foot
forward in helping the horror genre. The Dull sounds more
like the title than the Dark.
Dark is a horror disguised as a horror movie)
Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri