© Constantin Film Verleih GmbH

The Dark
U.K. 2005

Opening 26 Jan 2006

Directed by: John Fawcett
Writing credits: Simon Maginn, Stephan Massicotte
Principal actors: Sean Bean, Maria Bello, Richard Elfyn, Maurice Roëves, Abigail Stone

When Adele (Maria Bello) takes her estranged daughter Sarah (Sophie Stuckey) to visit Sarah’s father James (Sean Bean, The Lord of the Rings) in Wales in hopes of rekindling a broken mother-daughter bond, the trip does not turn out at all as expected. But then James does not live anywhere ordinary. He lives in an eerie albeit beautiful house overlooking the sea on property which is surrounded by infamous local legend. Within days of their arrival Sarah suddenly disappears from the seashore. James and Adele frantically search for their daughter but all they manage to find is one of Sarah’s shoes floating atop the water. While practical James calls for and participates in a search and rescue operation, panic-stricken irrational Adele has nightmares, hears noises, and then begins to find mysterious clues as to her daughter’s disappearance. With the very sudden appearance and very strange behavior of a young girl named Ebrill (Abigail Stone), who happens to bear a striking resemblance to Sarah, Adele discovers that the key to finding Sarah lies not in the search of the obvious but rather in demystifying the local lore.

Despite the fact that Maria Bello and Sean Bean’s performances are quite good and very believable, The Dark simply falls far short of being anything spectacular. Typical of most horror-thriller films, it does contain plenty of predictable scenes where the image darkens, the volume gets louder, everyone in the audience thinks “No, don’t go up there! No, don’t stick your hand in there!”, and then suddenly a super loud noise makes the audience jump. But it seems to take too long for the film to get there due to a bit of a slow start followed by a few "teases" in which the jump never comes. However, the action and intrigue do pick up eventually. From this point on The Dark gets weird and somewhat interesting, but unfortunately never really good. (Shauna Keeley)

The theaters below show films in their original language; click on the links for showtimes and ticket information.
Interviews with the stars, general film articles, and reports on press conferences and film festivals.
Subscribe to the free KinoCritics monthly email newsletter here.