The Dark (2005)
by John Fawcett
The Dark is a
British horror movie about a couple trying to repair a broken
relationship while also grieving over the death of their young daughter.
Maria Bello stars as Adelle, who takes her
teenaged daughter, Sarah (Sophie Stuckey), to Wales, so she can visit
her father. The movie begins by showing them travelling by and two
things are obvious right from the start:
They are hopelessly lost.
relationship is not very good.
When night draws in, bringing a storm with it, Adelle and Sarah are
forced to spend the night in their car, which is parked near a steep
cliff with a deadly drop to the sea below. Near the edge of the cliff
is a strange memorial with the name Annwyn marked on it. Later in the
film we learn from local odd-job-man Dafydd that, according to Welsh
legend, Annwyn is the place people go
after death. The legend also states that the dead can return from
Annwyn if one of the living exchanges places with them.
Sarah's father, James (Sean Bean), lives in a very remote house and his
only company, before his family's arrival, seems to have been Daffydd,
who appears to be kept very busy around the place.
The real story doesn't start until Sarah is swept out to sea and
drowned. Not long after this Ebrill (Abigail Stone) appears. A
distraught Adelle sees the young girl outside the window and, thinking
it is Sarah, chases her into the abattoir (every house should have
one). When Adelle calls out her daughter's name, Ebrill asks, "Is that
who you are looking for? You won't find her here. This is where the
sheep come to die." Not long after this interesting snippet of
conversation Ebrill vanishes, things start to get a little more
mysterious, and Adelle has to find a way of getting her daughter back,
even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.
might best be described as a supernatural thriller. The movie does not
have a large cast, but it is an effective one and plenty of sheep come
flocking in, as extras, under the careful supervision of Elvis the
The movie has some chilling moments, and there are some gruesome
moments as well, but nothing too over-the-top. Probably the goriest
part of the story is where a mad shepherd bores a hole in someone's
skull with a twist drill. There are no close-up shots of this, just a
little blood and pieces of bone falling onto the floor. Not nice, I
suppose, but it does have its place in the story.
Dark is a UK certificate 15 and the DVD' special features
Interviews with the cast and crew.
I watched the alternative ending, and actually
preferred it, but neither ending really worked for me because
they fail to provide a feeling of closure. Having said that, I still
enjoyed the movie and it is definitely worth watching.
Maurice Roeves .... Dafydd
Sophie Stuckey .... Sarah
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