September 11, 2005

DARKNESS (2004) - Thai DVD Review

Much-delayed horror film starring Iain Glen, Lena Olin (before she appeared in ALIAS) and Anna Paquin. The film was made in English by Spanish director Jaume BalaguerĂ³.

The Thai version of the DVD looks good, but the drawback is that it is in 1.33 aspect and not widescreen. I'm guessing that this is the unrated cut (and not the PG-13 US release cut) because of the spurting blood!

This movie is now widely available in the US, UK and even as a Spanish 2-DVD set. When I bought the Thai version, I don't think these other copies were available.

The film looks fantastic, the set design and cinematography make the spooky interiors look gothically gorgeous, while each of the interiors trail off into shadowy darkness.

But. Iain Glen's American accent is very distracting, not at all what he usually sounds like. In his first scene it sounds like a very poor Marlon Brando imitiation!

The film achieves many unsettling moments, some very creepy tableaux, but very few horror "pay-offs". Plenty of promise but a disappointing climax. I was also hoping for a long flashback, rather than the many half-second hints of what had gone before.

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