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Dark Remains (2005)

 -  Horror  -  October 2005 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 1,088 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 25 critic

When the daughter Emma of the technical writer Allen Pyke and the photographer Julie is found slashed in the throat and wrists in their locked apartment, the couple decides to move to an ... See full summary »

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Title: Dark Remains (2005)

Dark Remains (2005) on IMDb 5.1/10

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Allen Pyke
Scott Hodges ...
Jeff Evans ...
Rachel Jordan ...
Emma Pyke
Michelle Kegley ...
Mrs. Payne
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Mr. Booth
Rachael Rollings ...
Rachel Roberts
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Marianne Shore
...
Librarian
...
Steve
...
Gail (as Crystal Porter)
...
Mrs. Booth
...
Doug Roberts
Brian Clemons ...
Deputy
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Storyline

When the daughter Emma of the technical writer Allen Pyke and the photographer Julie is found slashed in the throat and wrists in their locked apartment, the couple decides to move to an isolated cabin in the mountains in Kingspike. Julie is very depressed and blames Allen for the death of Emma. Once in the new home, Julie sees the spirit of Emma in a photo she took in a nearby abandoned prison and she becomes obsessed shooting pictures of poltergeists. Allen is advised to move from the place by the local Jim Payne, and on May 21st, Allen finds that the former dwellers of the cabin have committed suicide, and he investigates the death in the spot and finds that many people died around May 22nd. He decides to move with Julie to a hotel, but she does not want to give up on Emma. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Pain never dies

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Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content and some nudity | See all certifications »
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October 2005 (USA)  »

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What remains?
17 February 2010 | by (Manchester, England, UK) – See all my reviews

DARK REMAINS is a low budget American horror movie that somehow managed to win 2 awards.

The plot seems to involve 2 separate strands. First, a woman commits suicide by slashing her wrists whilst bathing. Second, the young daughter of a technical writer is found with her throat slashed. The grieving couple decide to move to an isolated cabin in the mountains. It later transpires that the cabin and surrounding locations are haunted.

As the movie goes on, the 2 separate strands of story eventually converge as one might reasonably expect. However, the execution is haphazard and results in confusion that could perhaps only be resolved by multiple viewings. Unfortunately, the movie is simply not enticing enough to attract most viewers into watching it more than once.

Just about everything that could go wrong with this movie goes wrong - and fast! And the low budget cannot be used to justify all of the shortcomings found here.

I believe it would be wrong to pass judgement on the actors involved in this production as the material was simply too poor.

The characters are uninteresting as pointed out by other reviewers on this site. The badly written script introduces too many people without giving them interesting dialogue, without creating opportunities for character-driven situations and without adding depth to any of them.

The direction is uninspired. The inspiration from J-Horror movies such as RINGU, THE GRUDGE and ONE MISSED CALL is evident. Unfortunately, the directors of DARK REMAINS did not pay close attention to the style of J-Horror. J-Horror works so effectively because it plays on fear of the unknown. Tension is created by constant shifts between a bizarre situation (a ghost on a CCTV camera walking towards it for example), and the reaction of a central character who is faced with it without any warning. There is no humour or tongue-in-cheek element in these movies. Everything is played so straight and without remorse or limitations that you can't help but be convinced and captivated by it. The foreboding atmospheres set up the suspense and ensures the horror has psychological impact, very much unlike the "jump scares" used in Hollywood movies.

The directors of DARK REMAINS made a brave attempt to avoid Hollywood clichés and also successfully avoided using CGI. The homage to J-Horror could have been well intended. Unfortunately, the lack of inspiration is likely to make the viewer laugh at the supposed "scares" on the screen. The make-up effects of the "ghosts" weren't too bad given the low budget but their actions just defied logic. I was scratching my head quite a few times during this movie.

I couldn't give away the ending even if I wanted to. I simply couldn't understand it. All I could deduce was that it was something of an anti-climax.

What remains? The answer as a reviewer on a different website has pointed out is boredom. The movie is a chore to sit through. Thankfully, the pain ends after an hour and a half. However, most would probably switch off long before the end.

There are only 2 positive things I could find in this movie - the successful avoidance of scare clichés and the absence of the "f-word" in every single sentence like one would normally expect to find. This is what the 2 stars are for.

Those who like supernatural or psychological horror relating to ghosts and haunting might do well to stick to movies such as THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, THE CHANGELING or the J-Horror sub-genre.

If you think you have seen too many established movies and want to see an obscure ultra-low budget "R-rated" horror movie about ghosts, watch DEATH OF A GHOST HUNTER. It may not be the greatest horror movie ever made but it is surely a lot better than DARK REMAINS and does have a few genuine surprises in store.

I advise everyone to avoid DARK REMAINS like the plague.


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