Dark Places [2014] Charlize Theron as Libby Day Prison scene

Dark Places [2015]

Rare are the who-done-it movies nowadays. There’s something so satisfying in them, that feeling of broken elements that are going to be put in the right place by the end of the movie. This forgotten genre started coming back with Gone Girl and now we have an opportunity to check another movie based on a novel by Gillian Flynn. Don’t worry, this one’s not that overbearing and long like the last one. I was first afraid of the bobbing camera and sudden zooms that reminded me of TV movies, but the director Gilles Paquet-Brenner soon showed that he’s more than capable of converting a good novel into an even better movie. The atmosphere is just phenomenal, filling up the slower portions of the movie and making it more engaging so the time just flies with this one as you delve deeper into the mystery surrounding the massacre.

Speaking of TV movies who else remembers all those murder mysteries that were so popular during the eighties and nineties? Ordinary who-done-its were aired during a specific day of the working week or even two, with reruns and those a bit naughtier airing after midnight. Weekends were reserved for epics consisting of two or even four parts that basically ate up all the free time you had. Ahhh those were the days…

Dark Places [2014] Movie Review Recommendation Poster

Libby Day did not have an easy life. The only survivor of the 1985 Kansas massacre, in which her brother slaughtered both her sisters and her mother in a satanic ritual, she’s barely hanging on. 25 years later, broke and without a job, she accepts the offer of Lyle Wirth, treasurer of the Kill Club, to provide more details about the night of the massacre. Kill Club gathers people who like to study gruesome murders in an effort to uncover the real truth behind them (sounds like something that they would put up on their website).

With perfect casting, it would be unfair to single out performances, but I have to say that Christina Hendricks transitioned seamlessly to movies and she’s still kicking asses. Another thing that I loved was the music that was perfectly paced, adding even more to that dark atmosphere. The thing about Dark Places is that if you want to go deeper, you can. There are so many motives that you can examine like poverty, relationships, music, satanism, adolescent behavior, the media aspect and I could go on and on… Of course, The famous Satanic Panic craze of the eighties is also present here. The intersection of metal music, satanism, and eighties along with the established media coverage is such a rich subject for examination. The dreary life on a farm in rural Kansas sure as shit is depressing and dark, but more importantly, it’s real (and more importantly it’s not happening to us (and even more importantly it is happening to someone, like right now…)).

Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner

Writer: Gillian Flynn (novel), Gilles Paquet-Brenner

Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks, Corey Stoll, Chloë Grace Moretz, Andrea Roth

Fun Facts: Amy Adams was originally cast in the lead role during development but when the project was green-lit, Adams was unavailable and Charlize Theron was cast instead.


IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2402101/

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