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|Index||44 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
50 minutes into the movie I stopped watching because I wasn't able to
handle another second of the characters' stupidity. The actors did an
OK job with what was given to them. It's the story and the characters
that were poorly written. There are a gazillion movies where dumb
idiots go backpacking in the middle of nowhere, but many of them are
bearable. However the characters here are unrealistically stupid, which
is what makes the movie utterly unbelievable and annoying.
here are a few unrealistic moments:
- the chicks went AWOL in backwoods Argentina without telling anyone
- got drunk in the local pub provoking every horny kidnapper there
- got separated in backwoods Argentina because of a chick fight
- when the blond tried to rescue the brunette, they had 10 chances to neutralize the Argentinian idiot and didn't (and yes he is also an idiot in the movie, I'm not just throwing names around)
- when the American guy was pointing the gun at the two amigos, he just decided to turn his back on them, only to get a bullet in the back. At least he was looking somewhat smart, up until that moment...
And to top that, we're supposed to believe that an entire town is conspiring to kidnap tourist girls (which is often the case in this kind of movies.) This aspect is not entirely ridiculous but it's a stretch.
I liked the beginning of the movie with all the scenery, but unfortunately that remained its strongest point.
The actors had nothing to do here. They were stuck with shallow roles with no room for real acting. This was a big step down for Karl Urban and the two females. This type of movies can work, as long as the story and script are believable enough, without having to reduce the characters to imbeciles, which is just frustrating.
And Soon the Darkness is a serviceable "vacation gone bad" thriller.
The two lead actresses are VERY pleasant to look at. They bike and
sunbathe and run very prettily. But the story is so predictable that
it's almost comical, the bad guys and plot twists are apparent from the
very beginning, and the protagonists make decisions so stupid that they
almost seem to ask for the situation that they get involved in.
You should be very familiar with this kind of plot by now. A pair of attractive young American tourists (Odette Yustman and Amber Heard) get separated from their bike tour group in Argentina, meet some suspicious people, get separated from each other, and then one of them goes missing. They're not the smartest of tourists, that's for sure.
Even if you can stand the by-the-numbers plot (for Odette Yustman, I can accept a LOT of clichés and obvious plot twists), And Soon the Darkness isn't a very thrilling thriller. There's not a lot of creativity or imagination to it, it's just the same movie we've seen before with some new faces. Watch it if you're a fan of Yustman or Heard, but don't expect a lot.
Good things first, some very nice cinematography of the landscapes.
Cool looking deserted town that looks like something from a nuclear
holocaust. Now that's out of the the way, on to the bad...
Clichéd characters. The Ellie character is just plain annoying and whilst I'm not a prude her behaviour just invited trouble - she's in an unknown country surrounded by strangers and acts like a complete whore. The good guy character hints at some promise but is taken out of the equation too easily. No inventiveness applied here, nothing you haven't seen a million times. Plus the female leads look like famine victims, especially Ellie - neither of them would have had the strength to fight off any kind of attack. I don't know if this is what Hollywood considers sexy nowadays but if so you can keep it.
Only rent if there is absolutely nothing else.
The only good thing about this movie is the editing, the camera work and the sound. The acting is okay, but the plot is shallow. The promise of twists is totally unfulfilled. It is predictable and rather pointless. What a shame. It is one of those movies that seems to have something, but you wait and watch and nothing happens. There is very little to say about the movie. I had to add this filler just so that the review could be accepted for having 10 lines of text. The characterisation is shallow. I suppose the scenery in some of the scenes is rather interesting. But other than that, this is a complete waste of your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Am not going to compare this to the original 70's movie as I have not
seen it. So, will judge this movie on it's own merit.
Who thinks up this stuff ? Two sexy girls traveling all alone through small towns in Argentina ? Really ? While in town they (one of them) decide to sexually frustrate and provoke strange Argentinian men for their amusement ? Really ? Throw in some of the most incompetent human traffickers you have ever seen, a town that completely ignores this and a moody /mysterious American who is creepier than the traffickers and you have a movie ? Really ?
The only thing dumber than the characters in this movie is the fact that I actually watched the whole thing.
No plot, poor acting, unbelievable story. Need I say more.
Did Karl Urban even read the script before he decided to do this waste of time? I guess a paycheck is more important than doing a good, or even half decent movie with at lest some redeeming qualities, which this movie had none of.
A big disappointment of a movie where I wish I could get my time back.
Two young attractive girls are biking through Argentina. They miss
their bus to leave and stay a bit longer, when they get into a fight
one of them leaves the other by herself. Big mistake, the girl gets
herself kidnapped. Now her friend must try to find her.
The film never tries to elevate the genre that it is in, nor make it interesting. And Soon The Darkness manages to follow the footpath of every film before it, thus making it boring and predictable. First we have our two female characters. One is obviously a trouble maker and the rebel, while the other is more conservative. Guess which one gets herself kidnapped and which one has to rise to the occasion to get her friend back? The two female characters are played by Odette Yustman and Amber Heard, they fit their roles of attractive young females. The roles don't call for anything beyond that really.
The biggest letdown, had to be Karl Urban. His character is somewhat pointless. He doesn't advance the plot, his story line is left unfinished and Urban himself seems to be bored with the material. I like the guy, but he needs to pick better projects than this. Now that I have my biggest letdown out of the way, let me tell you where else this film went wrong.
The main reason for the girl getting kidnapped is due to the character's stupidity. The two girls get into a verbal argument, one storms off leaving the other. Who would leave their best friend in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country? On top of that, they state earlier that they were part of a bike tour group, but got lost from the pack? These point in the film had me scratching my head.
The film doesn't really know what it wants to be either, it reminded me a lot of Turistas. These characters are in a beautiful location, the film knows this and it is shot fairly well. There are bits of torture, yet the film never steers into that Hostel, or Saw territory. It comes off as very tame, I'm surprised it is even restricted. The film can easily be a PG-13 flick.
There are no surprises, you know from the moment you see the characters, who is responsible for what. The film tries to be clever to throw a curveball, but as I mentioned before, we have seen this type of film before and it's obvious where it was going. The film even lacks suspense. The kidnapping scene is poorly done, the climax is also a third rate cat and mouse game. The film fails to create any tension and that was a key element missing from here. Too many things were left unanswered for me. The two people who ran the hotel, do they know anything? Are they in on it? Does the wife try to warn them, but the husband put her in her place? Who knows.
And Soon The Darkness peaked my interest, but is failed to excite me. If Karl Urban was not in it, I would never have bothered with it. You should do yourself a favour too and skip it.
Workably well-made, but unremarkable pot-boiler remake of the 1970
British version. This time it takes place in Argentina with two
American girls on a cycling trip, compared with the original having two
British girls cycling in the French countryside. One of the girls goes
missing, leaving the other friend on a desperate search to find her.
The simplistic narrative is routine as can be, dealing with alienation
and paranoia of being a fish-out-of-water. Still rather under-written.
While it might start off lousy and not surprise with its lack of twists
(as the mystery does eventually loose some steam), it remains
effectively sustainable in making you uncomfortable in its foreign
where it's hard to know just who to trust, as no one
wants to get involved even though the suspicions are there that the
locals (you know those long stares) might just know what is going on.
Desperation and danger fills every inch of space as details become
clear for the protagonists. The direction is intrusively slick and
pacing slow-going, but this only adds to the unsettling atmosphere and
breath-taking mountainous scenery. Other than Amber Heard's commendable
performance, the scenic photography also is a true scene stealer. The
lush sights are a marvel and only compliment the underlining threat of
this idyllically forlorn retreat. After such a sturdy progression and
falling into contrived developments, it breaks away in the final acts
with some intense cat and mouse moments but never fully tapping in to
the suspense of the predicament. The cast give well rounded
performances, even though their thin characters are descriptively black
and white. Heard is impressive in the lead role, while Odette Annable
provides plenty of energy. A disconnected Karl Urban shows up as a
mysterious stranger (though foreseeable to where his character's ends
up in the plot) and Cesar Vianco (with that icy stare) plays the town's
officer. Underdone, but modest travel thriller.
"He looks responsible."
Two young American women (Amber Heard and Odette Yustman) are biking
around Argentina. It is a fun adventure, at least until one of them
gets kidnapped. Can the other track down the kidnapper and save her
friend? Who can she trust?
This film is a remake of a 1970 British thriller. For all intents and purposes, the connection could be overlooked and the film would be just fine. While some things were kept the same -- the bicycling, lack of subtitles and a shot of a plane overhead -- much of it was changed. The setting has moved from France to Argentina, the girls' names were changed, and there is a whole new dynamic. This film could have stood on its own.
Writer-director Marcos Efron truly does make it his own film, and it helps to have two of today's finest young stars in the lead roles. Amber Heard, at the time of this film's release, was already known and about to be more well-known alongside Johnny Depp and Nic Cage. Odette Yustman, perhaps less well-known, is still a star in her own right.
The film is tense, suspenseful, better-paced than the original, with beautiful color and scenery. There is a sexy element, but no outright sex. There is a violent element, but no outright gore. The film is R, but could get by with what I would call a "hard PG-13". Even the torture aspects never enter into the "torture porn" realm of "Saw" or "Hostel", or even "Turistas", and I give this film credit for that, staying firmly in "thriller" rather than "horror" territory.
While I would not give it a must-see, mandatory recommendation, it is a great thriller and one of the better films I have seen in a while. I never get sick of seeing Heard or Yustman, especially when they are in their swimsuits. This film earns a B, maybe a B-plus. The Anchor Bay DVD is also loaded with special features.
The plot as many has mentioned is so stupidly predictable from the very
beginning. What really annoyed me though was how it stereotypes
American going to developing countries and acting...well like ignorant
American tourists just asking to be robbed, ridiculed, and/or raped. I
mean, who in their right mind, male or female, would dress up and go to
a local bar in a small, little town out in the middle of nowhere.
What gets to me most though is this very Hollywood, developed world perspective that all developing countries from Asia to South America to East Europe are dangerous places where deviants and criminals are constantly roaming around hunting and kidnapping innocent, naive American tourists. This is as far from reality as it gets. Well that's Hollywood for you and the 5.2/10 is well-deserved.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If there's one thing horror movies have taught us over the years, it's
"Never leave home to a foreign country or island." The Italian cannibal
movies taught is this, Lucio Fulci's "Zombi 2" taught us this, the
"Hostel" movies taught us this-the list goes on really. If you go to
places your unfamiliar with in horror, you will end up in danger. Well,
you can add the new remake of the Robert Fuest film "And Soon the
Darkness" to that list.
The film deals with two best friends, Shy, virginal Stephanie (Amber Heard) and wild party girl Ellie (Odette Yustman), who are on vacation in Argentina. Well, they miss their bus, and after lazing around in bikinis (not a bad sight I must say), Ellie ends up being kidnapped. So, can Stephanie find her friend? What's with that nosy American man Michael (Karl Urban)? Are the local policeman Calvo (César Vianco) and a guy Ellie hooked up with the night before (Michel Noher) somehow behind this?
As you can guess, there isn't that much mystery behind what will happen. Hell, it pretty much shows you one of the villains from the get go. Yep, this is yet another movie with sketchy law enforcement figures involved with shady dealings, the "good girl" becoming the requisite "final girl", and so many other genre trappings that tell you exactly what happens. And that's what's wrong with the movie. Well, that and it's mostly kinda dull, because you know what's going to happen, so it's hard to really invest any interest in anything that occurs. Sure, there's at least two things that are effective (the town of crumbling buildings and dead trees has an eerie ambiance) but the whole thing is written and directed to the point that it feels more like a direct to television movie than it does a serious genre entry.
It also doesn't help that none of the actors are really given much to do with their roles. To be fair, they all do fine work (except for Yustman, who I just found irritating), but they're all just characters we've seen before. Plus, we aren't really given much of these people as characters. We know that Michael is a stranger whose looking for his wife, but that's it. There's no other reason to care about him or anyone here.
If I could compare "And Soon the Darkness" to another movie, it would be to "Turistas", only without the sadistic edge, and just as uneventful to boot. This movie should have just been called "And Soon the Dullness."
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