Dark Places (2015)

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Dark Places

Funny that a film buff such as myself has never heard of this film. A Charlize Theron vehicle is always something I am down for. Upon looking into the film, this is based on the novel by Gilian Flynn who also wrote Sharp Objects  and Gone Girl, both of which received the adaptation treatment. I liked both as well, both being anchored by very strong lead performances in Amy Adams and Rosamund Pike. I wanted more of the same here but wow. This film feels like a tonal mess and the twists just fail to live up to the build of the film.

The film is about a woman who is famous because her sisters and her mother were brutally murdered as a child. Her brother has been imprisoned for the crime and she got buy on funding by people who felt bad for her having to experience such a heinous tragedy. In need of cash, she meets up with a fan club who look into true crime events and analyze it. They peak her interest on whether her brother really committed the murders or if there was more to the story. She investigates and finds that looking for the truth is a dangerous ask.

Charlize does what she can with the script but its just so unimpressive and cluttered. Tonally, this film doesn’t know what it wants to be. The beginning up until when Theron meets the Kill Club feels like a horror. Then it switches between horror and drama and by the end the flashbacks and the “twists” just ruin whatever the film was building towards. I don’t know if the book was like this, I’m assuming its better as Flynn has received acclaim for her other works but maybe she should have supervised this script like she did with Fincher’s film.

You can feel like this film could have been something special if things were done differently but it just never reaches that point. Instead, large portions are plodding and uninteresting and the twists are unimpressive. Also, I don’t know if shes a good or bad actress yet but Chloe Moretz is really bad in this. Now I know why I’ve never heard of this film. It just couldn’t set suspense or thrill or story up properly. This definitely felt like a Lifetime or made for TV movie that uncharacteristically had big names attached.

6/10

 

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