Quick Take: A teenage girl moves into a remote countryside house with her family, only to discover that their gloomy new home has a horrifying past that threatens to destroy the family.

Balagueró, Jaume

102 minutes
running time

year released



Torifan’s Rating...

Torifan’s review: I read somewhere that the horror film Darkness was shelved for a time before being released in the U.S. Once it was released here, reviews were dismal. I wasn't aware of any reviews as I watched. We rented this because we love horror films. I especially love anything scary, creepy, or anything that messes with your mind. If I want generic predictable films, I can watch nearly any sequel made today. But for my freak-out, I love the horror. Darkness did seem to borrow from some other, better horror films (The Others, Poltergeist, The Ring), but still, I really enjoyed it. Anna Paquin (who was brilliant in one of the best films ever, 'The Piano) was good in her role as a teen who is trying to solve the mystery of what evil lurks in the house her parents have moved to just recently.

Deciphering the plot is slightly difficult, since the characters speak with accents and in hushed voices, but what we could decipher was this: During an eclipse 40 years ago, seven children were involved in a ritual. This ritual was not completed because one of the kids was allowed to escape. That kid grew up to be the father in this family that just moved into this house. When dad starts having fits, his daughter (Anna Paquin) knows what's happening. The eclipse is coming, and the ritual must be completed. I just wished she had explained it for us to know. I liked the feel of this movie, though. It had lots of creepy suspense and the whole idea of the haunted house is a favorite of mine, so I enjoyed. There were also some horrible-looking old people in shades who crawled out of the picture frame and generally scared the BeJesus out of us. No idea who or what their point was, other than for us to ponder, 'When were shades invented? These people look like they are from Colonial times.'

If you want a good little scare, you may like this film. I think the other reviewers were wrong. It's actually a pretty decent film, if you can get past the baffling and mostly unexplained nuances of the plot. But the scariest thing of all? Lena Olin and her awful attempt at acting. I swear! The Woman Who Is Sydney's Mom (Alias, on ABC) played a terrible role here. In fact, both parents acted a bit nuts and detached from the world around them. But then, maybe we would act that way too, if we had old creeps in shades crawling after us.

Anna Paquin, Anna
Lena Olin, Lena
Iain Glen, Iain
Giannini, Giancarlo
Martínez, Fele
Enquist, Stephan
Reixach, Fermí
Pagés, Francesc
Stevenson, Craig
Fernández, Paula

Emmanuel Lopez

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