Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

REVIEW: And Soon the Darkness

And Soon The Darkness **

Two attractive American girls, Stephanie (Amber Heard) and Ellie (Odette Yustman) are nearing the end of their cycling/backpacking holiday through a remote part of regional Argentina. On their last night, the girls drink too much and Ellie flirts with one of the locals. When things look like going too far she is rescued by Michael (Karl Urban) who had earlier told her to stay close to Stephanie. The girls oversleep and miss their bus to Buenos Aries; with the next bus hours away they decide to spend the day sunning themselves. After an argument the girls separate and Ellie is kidnapped by human traffickers. Stephanie calls the Police but unsatisfied with the lack of sympathy or help decides to investigate for herself…

The only good things about ‘And Now The Darkness’ are the movie looks beautiful, the scenery and cinematography are fantastic; as are the girls who are both very attractive. Amber Heard delivers another pretty good performance, especially considering the terribly clichéd script she has to deal with.

That’s it. The bad starts with the script, it’s as if someone wrote a list of clichés and ticked them off at specific moments throughout the shoot. It is so predictable that even without seeing the original (this is another remake) it’s easy to work out what would happen and to whom in the first 10 minutes. The character of Ellie is so stupid, particularly in her over-top-behaviour in the bar that she virtually ensures the viewer is willing her kidnap to take place. Attempts to prompt the viewer to question certain characters motives are poorly played. The characters are all stereotypical and obvious; you can tell who is good, bad and indifferent as soon as they appear. However, most of the indifference will come from the viewer…

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why I didn’t care much as the movie could have been good. I think that fact that it is a wasted opportunity is the most galling. Blessed with two of the genres hottest leads; beautiful scenery, the town, jungle and especially the ‘wasteland’ setting in the last 20 minutes are incredible; and as a remake they start with an established template, in theory it should be easier. To take all those elements and make a poor movie is unforgivable… and all too common. 

All of these elements are harnessed by the director, and in Marcos Efron they have a director who just hasn’t pushed them enough, or in interesting directions.

Quality: 3 out of 5 stars for the ‘scenery’

Any good: 1 out of 5 stars