In supernatural horror Darkness (2002), Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) finds herself, and her family, in dangerous trouble, though due to her father’s past, she doesn’t know if this comes from him or from outside sources.
One of the scariest things about this film is how everyone in Spain speaks perfect English, and how the family – despite living in, working in and going to school in Spain – don’t seem to have bothered picking up on any of the language. Seriously, Regina (Paquin) has a Spanish boyfriend/love interest, and you’d think at some point he could maybe say something to her in his native language. Just one scene, maybe a little light-hearted, trying to teach her the language. Or, seeing as the father grew up in Spain, and his father is Spanish, maybe he could use just a little bit of Spanish?
The film wasn’t bad. It was actually kind of enjoyable. The plot was, however, weak in some points, and the decisions made by Regina just make absolutely no sense whatsoever. The acting…okay, with Anna Paquin and Iain Glen – yeah, Jorah Mormont is the anger issues father in the film – I know they can do better acting than what’s seen here. It’s like, in some parts, they’re really not even trying. And Glen just can’t do extreme anger, without it coming across as feeling fake and forced. As for Paquin, until this film I thought some of her acting in True Blood was just her trying to get across Sookie’s simplicity and whatnot. Err, apparently it’s just part of Paquin. Not that I don’t like her, I liked her as Rogue and I like her as Sookie, but does anyone else notice that weird smile thing that she seems to do, when it feels like the character should totally not be smiling?
The twist is a little obvious, and the ending…well, feels like I’ve seen it a fair few times, but then again this is over ten years old by now, so maybe when it came out the ending was a little more fresh. Either way, some of the moments that are meant to be scary do kind of jolt you a little. There are typical moments when I felt like screaming why are you doing that? at the screen, and found myself shaking my head at some idiotic decision made by the characters. And, God, the parents are crap. Seriously. Like, your husband has a history of a bad temperament and possibly violence, your youngest child has random bruises that appear in the middle of the night and as a mother, you just…accept it? Say the kid must have done it in his sleep?
Like I said, it was enjoyable. But nothing more. Not a great film and not one I’d suggest going out of your way to watch, but if you’re really stuck for something to watch, you could do worse than Darkness.