Darkness is an incredibly eerie and atmospheric horror movie that really knows how to bring on the chills. My daughter and I watched this one together since she is almost always up for a good scare, and this one really got her good! There are a few scenes in this flick where I got full body shivers, and that is an excellent sign when watching a horror movie for me. Not to mention the fact that this is typically few and far between. So it kind of makes it all the more special when it does happen. My daughter actually slept up in my room with me that night because she was scared!
A fairly young Anna Paquin stars as the main character Regina. The family moves into a creepy house in the countryside of Spain that is specifically designed for some seriously nefarious occult purposes. Iain Glen plays Mark, the mentally unstable father who becomes increasingly erratic as the movie continues. He also plays Jorah Mormont on Game of Thrones (took me a good ten minutes to figure out where I knew the guy from, since I watched this movie well before I started the series). The move to Spain also happens to coincide with a solar eclipse that only happens every forty years. Yeah, that can’t be a good sign. I don’t want to give away much more than that on the subject to avoid those damn spoilers.
So remember how earlier I said that house was seriously fucked up? Well in the beginning there are flashes of children screaming, a bloody handprint on a window, and other darker shit that I will just let you see for yourself. We also see a young boy, beat up and bloodied, running through the country screaming. The beginning is a bit of a slow burn, but I actually really like that about it. The suspense and the scares build up to a crescendo. It’s like the intensity level is slowly turned up just a little bit each moment and culminates into a huge “holy crap what the hell is happening” chiller at the end.
At first, the son Paul (Stephan Enquist), mentions that the dark “feels different” here. He keeps seeing things from the corner of his eye that are gone as soon as he looks. Then there is that famous feeling that there is something there even though you can’t see it with your eyes (we see it of course, but you know what I mean). This builds up along with the “episodes” that the father keeps having. Mark’s father, who is the one that convinced them to move there, is his doctor and assures the family that they have nothing to worry about. I don’t want to give too much away, but lets suffice it to say there is some seriously bad juju going on at that house and with the eclipse.
The acting is solid and the lighting and camera effects, though simple, are extremely effective at scaring the ever loving shit of people. It is a very subtle movie, it doesn’t rely on heavy special effects and CGI for the scares, which is something that is difficult to find in horror movies or thrillers these days. I highly recommend checking this one out. The ending had me chilled to the bone.
And you might want to keep some lights on after you’re done watching. Seriously!