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43 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

Decent, Not What I Would Call 'Horror' Though

7/10
Author: slopi_serv from United States
3 January 2007

Aside from the main character's visions of monsters and gore, I would have to say this is a thriller. Pretty original plot concept and good acting as well.

The story follows a man who is offered an experimental drug in hopes that he can remember why he was found on the side of the road covered in blood. The movie then leads you into his journey of finding these memories.

Nice twist at the end, though I have a feeling most people will know what that twist is about 10 minutes before it happens, but it doesn't distract from the effect.

Overall it's original, I like the concept, the actors were well suited and nothing really seemed out of place. A couple goofs here and there due to shoddy editing possibly, again, nothing that really distracts from the quality of the story. I rate this a 7/10. I give it 7 instead of 6 because of the lack of recognizable actors and how well the roles were played.

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Good Mystery Thriller W/ Great Cast

7/10
Author: danthewrestlingmanorigin from United States
3 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dark Room features an excellent cast, that hit all the right notes. Reed Diamond, Shawn Pyfrom, Lucy Lawless and Greg Grunberg of Heroes fame should be commended on a job well done. I did have one major issue with this film, however they made up for it in the end, with a very satisfying, and surprisingly happy ending. I definitely agree with the previous reviewer, that this is not really a horror movie. I was expecting something along the lines of Hostel, or other recent examples in the extreme horror revival, looking at the cover, but you certainly do not get that here. Other then some bloody trippy flashback moments, this is really more a mystery/thriller/drama about a man trying to recover his identity. The issue I speak of is what I was gearing up to slam this movie for, and thats the cop out ending. I won't reveal it here, but it's a classic example of recent genre features overdoing the twist, at expense of the majority of the film, leading up to it. It worked in the past with efforts like Sixth Sense, but it's becoming quite tiresome now. However Dark Room doesn't end on that note, and goes on to deliver a satisfying ending, that came full circle, and overall left me satisfied. I love extreme horror, but I'll judge this for what it truly is, a slightly above average mystery/thriller, with an A list cast, of extraordinary actors'.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Incredible acting by Lucy Lawless and a nice twist too.

10/10
Author: priestesscharis from Springfield, Missouri
11 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am not generally a "horror" fan. I admit, I watched this film so I could see Lucy Lawless's role as Cheryl, the alcoholic Mother of Stanley and the wife of Bob. Her portrayal of this once strong, confident and beautiful woman is devastating. She captures her spirit and pain seemingly effortlessly. Lucy has shown her unending range with this film, and I wish she had more scenes. Her character simply fascinated me, and would love to see a sequel for this one. I would have loved to see this character developed more, but I understand that the film is about the murders, and not Cheryl.

I have watched this thing half a dozen times in five days. I guess I am addicted. I suppose I should mention the other cast, Reed Diamond (mental patient), Greg Grunberg (Bob), and Shawn Pyfrom (Stanley) were all very well cast. I watched the commentary, and it seems they had quite the time finding these actors for these roles. I won't give away what they said, but it was a miracle this movie was made at all. The story is very good, and plays out well. I do not want to give it away, so I won't. Nice twist at the end. They did a good job of not quite letting you know what was going to happen.

One of the only things that I would have done was make this film longer. At 84 minutes, it seems too short. That would also have aloud more Cheryl development. All in all, an EXCELLENT movie! Michael Hurst (writer/director) ended up with a good film for all the hell it was to get made. Charis.xX 2006

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

not bad actually.....

7/10
Author: U_KNOW from United States
20 July 2008

I watched this movie not expecting anything too good since i had never heard of it before, but after viewing it i wasn't disappointed. The plot is easy to follow and the mostly unknown actors execute pretty well. I was majorly impressed by lucy lawless's performance expanding out of her usual role as the "badass, don't need a man to get crap done" type and taking on a more vulnerable character that shows indeed she is one of the most underrated actresses out there. The movie kind of does seem to slow down a little bit and if you have seen enough of these types of movies, the twist shouldn't come as a shocker. So if you have a free night and nothing to watch, check this out. You might actually like it.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly decent low budget horror mystery.

6/10
Author: Paul Andrews (poolandrews@hotmail.com) from UK
24 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Darkroom starts in a hospital where an amnesia suffer (Reed Diamond) has spent the last 15 years, he was found wandering on a forest road covered in mud & blood & nobody has any idea who he is least of all himself. However a Dr. Allen (Ellie Cornall) who works for a private company has developed a new drug designed to help people remember & it's currently going through clinical trials & this guy has been chosen as a human Guinea pig, Dr. Allen administers the drug & the man has violent convulsions. When he recovers he claims not to remember anything & is taken back to his room, however on the way another patient attacks some members of staff & in the confusion he manages to escape the hospital. Once outside in L.A. he befriends a young boy named Stanley (Shawn Pyform), the more time he spends around Stanley the more he remembers as if Stanley was once part of his life all those years ago...

Co-written & directed by Michael Hurst I actually thought The Darkroom was a pretty decent time waster, sure it ain't going to make anyone's top ten best films anytime soon but it's perfectly watchable in it's own right. The script by Hurst & producer Mark A. Altman which takes itself extremely seriously is basically one long build up to it's twist ending & not much more, I have to say I thought the ending was pretty good as it wasn't too over-the-top or silly & is pretty cool. I personally didn't see it coming until late in the film & I don't think it's twist which is too predictable either. I'm sure if you sit down & pick the film apart then you could probably find all sorts of plot holes but as an immediate out the blue twist I thought it worked very well. However, the film is maybe a touch on the slow side & the impatient among you may not last the ride, several things aren't exactly explained clearly & it tries too hard at the end to tie everything up together & give itself a feel good happy ending. I thought the character's were good as was the dialogue without being outstanding, I thought it was something just that bit different & overall I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked The Darkroom, I also thought the mystery elements were pretty engaging & they at least kept me watching.

Director Hurst does alright, the film doesn't have much style but it's well made at least. I'm not really sure who the target audience for The Darkroom is as it's not really a horror film, I would struggle to call it a thriller as well so I'm not sure. This is a hard one to categorise as it has elements of both. This contains quite a few gory blood spurting slit throats which are quite graphic although they occur mostly during dream sequences & there's also a mud monster thing as well that turns up every so often. The special effects are fine with the slit throats looking particularly good & I'm pleased to report I didn't notice any awful CGI computer effects.

Technically the film is good & a hell of a lot better made than many recent straight-to-video low budget horror themed junk out there, it's well made throughout with decent production values & it actually looks like a proper film. The acting is OK, Xena: Warrior Princess (1995 - 2001) star Lucy Lawless is the only recognisable cast member as far as I was concerned.

The Darkroom is a good attempt at a psychological horror film with a twist & in that regard it's a watchable effort, it's nothing that will change your life but you could do a lot worse that's for sure.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Reasonably likable, if somewhat meh horror thriller

6/10
Author: t-birkhead from United Kingdom
13 February 2009

I watched this one with pretty low expectations and am glad to say that it slightly surpassed them, although it still isn't terribly impressive. It sits pretty nicely alongside the various films of this type that wash up on the Sci Fi Channel, with the advantage that it isn't a creature feature with awful effects or some lamebrained made for TV rubbish. The plot has an amnesiac mental patient receiving an experimental drug treatment to help him recall his past, before escaping and winding up helping a teenage boy with a problem. It doesn't sound like much, but stir in a bit of gore, some nice effects and the overall good quality acting and it becomes an easygoing and pleasant, if never particularly great time. The amnesiac hero is played well by Reed Diamond, he carries of the blankness of the role well, has a sympathetic edge and also, throughout the film kept reminding me of Robert Burke (Dust Devil, Robocop 3). Indeed, I was a bit surprised when I read at the end that it wasn't Robert Burke. Shawn Pyfrom (Andrew Vanderkamp from Desperate Housewives) does a good job as the teenager, his role is likable enough, if a tad clichéd and his performance was solid. Unusually, the film has a good role for Lucy Lawless as an alcoholic mother, I never thought she had any real talent but she was quite impressive. Rounding things out is Greg Grunberg as a stepfather and he does well enough though his role is underwritten. Though I didn't see the end twist coming, the film is largely predictable, offering up fun moments but no real thrills. The writing isn't too deep and there are some aspects that should have been explored further but the biggest problem is that the film is just too easy. Even though the course of the story is predictable, it could have scored more points by putting the characters through more of a wringer, but it doesn't really bother, not even at the end. This has the result of condemning the film to be nothing more than a pleasant time and one I suspect that won't be too memorable for anyone. Still, it zips along, fits its fairly short (83 odd minutes) run time well and has a few bright spots. So, its maybe worth a watch if you have the time spare, though its not something to go out of your way to see.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Well done

8/10
Author: gpeltz from United States
5 January 2014

I had not heard of this one before, and was pleasantly surprised. There are horror elements, and blood and gore, but more important, the story is involving. The Actors credible, and the exposition pulled me right in. A good story of a man with amnesia, fighting off his own private monsters, and given a test medication to help him remember his bloody secret.

It seems that many movies today seek out a "twist" in the plot to surprise the audience. I can honestly say that I did not see this one coming, until it was finally revealed. The plot device led to a satisfying conclusion.

I gave the film an eight out of ten, Professional all the way, from acting, editing, production, and direction. It worked, and I liked it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Darkroom

5/10
Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
31 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An amnesiac wants to uncover his identity and an experimental drug, Mioxidil, might provide the details he needs to recover who he is..the question is whether or not he'll regret such a decision when the answers he seeks come to fruition. Fragmented images are all he currently has, but as he "ventures out into the real world", can this John Doe reawaken memories and what exactly will become of him? John Doe meets a nice young man named Stan who offers a hand of friendship. Stan is often bullied by two punk skateboarders and witnesses the ongoing strife between his mom and stepfather with John Doe an outsider to the events..or is he?

You know, it's not like this movie is badly performed or made, it's just that this kind of thriller has been brought to us multiple times before. Two alternating stories seem unrelated for the exception that Stan and John Doe meet seemingly by chance, only to have a lot more in common than they think. Stan has the step father with a dark room where he stores his photographs and doesn't allow either his step son or wife in there, not to mention he wanders off at ungodly hours, acting suspiciously, often quite defensive when anyone questions his reasons for doing so. And, the movie goes out of it's way to cast a nefarious eye on Bob(Greg Grunberg, an effective creep), pointing out a dead body being found, reported murders in the newspaper. We see how both Stan and John Joe's missions converge as they discover where Bob goes during the day(..and night)and the tragic result of a particular missing person important to the plot, mentioned sparingly throughout for an intended purpose.

Interesting how both Stan and John Doe(..played by Reed Diamond as a haunted and disoriented man needing closure in order to find solace and peace)are concurrently seeking answers to buried secrets which reveal themselves little by little as they search together.

Lucy Lawless, in a bit of interesting casting, portrays Stan's mother, Cheryl, an unsatisfied alcoholic wife desiring emotional fulfillment, affection, and attention from Bob who seems disinterested in her sexually, causing her to become a miserable wreck, despite the fact that she is a very attractive woman just wanting some kind of loving investment, not knowing the kind of monster he really is. I don't think Bob's "after hours"(..or hours where he is supposed to be working, masquerading around the fact that he was fired, using this time committing unsavory, to say the least, acts)activities will surprise anyone watching this movie, and I figure the "twist" will be realized by more aware viewers who have seen their share of these kinds of films. Ellie Cornell, of Halloween 4 fame, has a small role as a pharmaceutical doctor wanting to use Mioxidil on John Doe to see if the drug works, with a goal to help other amnesiacs wanting to discover their identities. The most grisly scenes contain the giant black monster with sharp claws slicing the throats of women brought to life through visions which pop up in John Doe's mind from time to time. Many viewers might be reminded of The Sixth Sense while watching this movie in how the outside world treats John Doe.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Proof I'll watch Reed Diamond in just about anything

4/10
Author: movieman_kev from United States
6 March 2009

Reed Diamond plays a man suffering from amnesia who's been in a mental asylum for over a decade after he was found wondering the back roads with blood on his hands. The doctors want to test out an experimental new drug that'll return his lost memories if it works. But when the drugs give him hallucinations of a demon, he chooses to escape instead. While outside he befriends a young boy whose stepfather (Greg Grunberg) mistreats his mother, won't let her near the darkroom in his basement & acts suspicious in general.

While the general 'mystery' of the film is a tad easy to identify way before it's revealed, I found Mr. Diamond's acting to be enthralling enough to keep my attention throughout. (In the interest of full disclosure, I've been a huge fan of his since Homicide and his brief, but extremely pivotal, role in The Shield up through Journeyman & Dollhouse) Not a great film nor a good one, but serviceable enough. Although I did like it better than the previous films that I've seen from Director/writer Michael Hurst (Room 6, Pumkinhead 4, Mansquito)

Eye Candy: one fleeting pair of boobs in a hallucination

My Grade: C-

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very original

8/10
Author: danterahni_857 (danterahni_857@hotmail.com) from United Kingdom
8 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really enjoyed this film, it kept me thinking and i thought the friendship between the man and boy was done really well, it could have been over played and misconstrued... but the innocence and genuine nature of the relationship was very clever. A lot of these films that involve flashbacks and dream scenes make no sense and try and show too much, however this film keep it interesting and help my interest till the end. SPOILER COMING: the beast and the dreams made the film quite edgy, and the twist i thought was going to be a sixth sense moment, but then it wasn't so I was pleasantly surprised. A good film and id quite happily buy it.

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