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The Dark
Reviewed by Sackett, © 2006

Format: Movie
By:   John Fawcett (director)
Genre:   Horror
Review Date:   September 28, 2006
Audience Rating:   R
RevSF Rating:   8/10 (What Is This?)

"She found a way to come back from the dead. And something came back with her." -- Dafydd

I really don't understand how this movie was sent directly to DVD, while dreck like Wicker Man made it to the theatres.

Welsh mythology is not as well known as other ancient religions, like the Greek or Norse mythologies. It's much darker. The heroes, gods and goddesses make your typical movie slasher look like a naughty 5th-grader. The Dark, starring Sean Bean and Maria Bello, dips into that dark well with both hands.

Every type of movie BOO! is represented: the eerie music that rises to unbearability, the hand from the dark, the spectral child, the noise from the attic, animals with glowing eyes, stakes thru the heart, torture chambers, a storming shoreline. Chair alone in the room? Check. Small keepsake box that holds the key to the mystery? Check. Footsteps in an empty hall? Check.

They are all woven together masterfully. At no time did I get the impression that the director was marking his list and checking it twice.

The director had me in the palm of his hand. Maria Bello plays the mother, sympathetic yet unlikeable. Sean Bean plays the laid back Dad with the heavy brogue.

Both girls who played major roles, Sophie Stuckey(the lost daughter) and Abigail Stone (the damaged soul returned from heaven), were excellent actresses, playing their roles as neither too young, nor too old, neither too hysterically, nor blase, but just right. Not an easy task for either of them.

The plot is intricate, though that the director took a few liberties in the end with the logic of the whole thing. He could have made a three hour movie with the wealth of plotlines started, and implications made, yet it had to be tied up in 90 minutes.

The character Ebrill (Stone) is chilling. She is not evil, yet she causes or is the cause of so many bad things that happen. She is not good, yet you feel for her, somewhat like the girl in the well in The Ring.

Myths, wrapped in legends, surrounded by fables, and tied with a greasy hank of black human hair. Find this movie when you're in the mood to be totally immersed and totally spooked.

The only thing special about the special features is the alternate ending, which, quite frankly, I thought should have been used instead of the one the producers used. But that's probably why they're in the movie business, and I'm just a farmer.

Sackett really, really, really thought The Wicker Man stank.

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