4.8/10
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19 user 1 critic

Innocents (2000)

Dark Summer (original title)
A traveling cellist gets involved with two disturbed sisters on their way to Seattle to tell their mom that their dad has just passed away. On the way, the two kill a judge and a few others... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gerard Huxley
...
Detective Davis
Kent Allen ...
Detective Markofsky
...
Megan Denright
...
Dominique Denright
...
Robert Denright
Charles Knecht ...
Priest
Trae Thomas ...
Gas Station Attendant
...
Mike
...
Tony
Mark Adams ...
Highway Patrolman #1
Jack Semple ...
Guitarist
...
Judge Winston
...
Beryl Denright
...
Plainclothes Policeman #1
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Storyline

A traveling cellist gets involved with two disturbed sisters on their way to Seattle to tell their mom that their dad has just passed away. On the way, the two kill a judge and a few others unknown to the cellist. Eventually he gets pinned for the crimes and is forced to defend himself. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Two's company. Three's murder.

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Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

6 February 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Innocents  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Arioso
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranged by Michel Colombier
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User Reviews

 
A smart complex thriller...dark and sinister in the style of "Blue Velvet"
23 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a smart film. When I watched this film I found myself thoroughly engaged by it on many levels. But it's a very complex film, insofar as it not really about things that happen, so much as it is about what causes people to do the things they do.

The two girls, Megan and Dominique, do terrible things in this story, but what is lovely about this film is that it creates an opportunity for us to feel ambiguous about their actions. Are they justified in their actions or should we judge them harshly for their deeds? Society would judge them, the law would judge them - but how do we judge them as human beings, trying to survive the chaos and emotional turmoil of life? Is it rational to judge them? These are all good questions - and in the end, The Innocents becomes more than a simple story. The Innocents is a Greek Tragedy by any other name. Its classic issues are at the core of the fabric of humanity. It's tough material and strong and bold.

The protagonist, Gerard, who travels with the girls on this so-called "innocent" journey, is caught in a web from which he cannot extricate himself. Should he try, the girls will pin their deeds on him. It's the perfect platform for a crime. The more the innocent man objects and tries to pull away, the more guilty he will look. In the sense, there is a "Hitchcock" homage at play here, for those who know the genre.

On the surface these are very nice girls, but underneath, they are damaged, angry and in fact, given the wrong set of circumstances, very dangerous. This film leads you on an emotional roller-coaster and no matter what anyone may say, this is extremely well-written and most unpredictable. In an era of Hollywood film-making where plots are derivative and endings are known by an audience twenty minutes into the film, The Innocents (called Dark Summer in Europe)breaks the mold. There is nothing predictable about "The Innocents". Not at all.

The actors are extraordinary, including Jean-Hugues Anglade, Connie Neilson, Mia Kirshner, Anne Archer, Frank Langella, Keith David and Robert Culp. You don't see cinema like this very often in America (because this may be too intellectually and emotionally demanding)and to that extent I am positive that certain reviewers may not get this film, it's their loss.

I saw the European DVD of this movie, as well, and there are many more scenes than are in the U.S. version. It's quite interesting to see the additional scenes and definitely more satisfying.

The Innocents is a very smart, cunning, emotionally well-crafted piece of film-making and high regards to those who had the vision to back it. I hope to see many more films from this filmmaker.


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