Mark and Maria, along with their teenaged daughter, Regina, and their young son, Paul, move to Spain and move into an old and creepy looking house. Mark’s father, Albert, is in the area as well. Everything is fine at first, for a few weeks. But then weird things start happening. There’s something in this house…something ancient and dark that remains hidden and silent. A Darkness! It has lived there since someone tried to summon it, more than forty years previously. To unleash the darkness, seven children, must be sacrificed and six have been killed so far, a circle that must now be completed.
Darkness almost bored me to death. There’s barely any action at all until the last ten minutes. I can understand build-up but this is just way too much. Nothing was scary at all. The ending was meant to scare but it was just too boring to do it for me.
The acting was adequate. The boy (Stephan Enquist) is no Haley Joe Osmond and the father (Iain Glen) no Jack Nicholson but they’re not bad. The wife (Lena Olin) was the weak link for me, with lack of emotion where it was needed. The grandfather (Giancarlo Giannini) is fine. The daughter (Anna Paquin) did great I thought albeit a bit old for the role. Her boyfriend (Fele Martínez) is good but underused. I thought the best part was the house, inside and out, which was very atmospheric for horror.
The story is a bit confusing because of blatant plot holes. Several inconsistencies and unexplained parts which ruined it for me.
I saw similarities to The Shining (not because of the dates like in Psycho but mainly because of the father), Sixth Sense (due to the boy), Thirteen Ghosts (with the house built for a purpose, Darkness Falls (for obvious reasons), The Ring (due to some shots), and The Grudge (due to some of the atmosphere and shots too but I hated The Grudge!).
I don’t think Darkness really stole from any one thing but created its own hybrid of ideas. Not the most original but not too bad.
The very ending just seemed rather weak as I thought the power resided in only the house and girl was rather quick to do what she does, considering what occurred inside.
I’m left with one big question. What is the ultimate purpose of the house?? I know what the house wanted but not why?
I had higher expectations for this movie. Very disappointed. BUT, two reasons to see this are the house and the father, whose performance is pretty good.
Jaume Balagueró cannot be fully responsible for all of the plot holes, inconsistencies and unexplained parts due to Hollywood editing and cutting of quite a bit of the film, which originally was completed in 2002. So, I’m sure that is a major part of it. If you want to see this, try to get the uncut version.