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What do you expect from a story with a title like that? You do indeed
find them in this earnest and thoughtful movie. A fifteen-year-old boy
accused of pedophilia and Satan worship who gets his girlfriend
pregnant and is then accused of murdering his mother and two sisters by
his third sister - how much darker can you get without it seeming too
As with Flynn's other tale brought to the cinema, Gone Girl, there is a mystery at the heart of the story that leads to a surprise ending that has been carefully built up but is nonetheless completely unexpected. A constellation of great character actors helps populate this dreary landscape of poverty and despair. And it does end with a note of resolution and hope. The truth shall set you free.
The plot revolves around an event that takes place in 1985 and an investigation thirty years later that seeks justice for the boy sent to jail for killing three family members. Fans of the book should be pleased with the faithful and sensitive adaptation.
I went last night to the world premiere in Paris. Charlize Theron was there, thanking the French people for understanding her attraction to dark places. Her brilliant performance may not get her another Oscar - the film itself is not the sort of story that many will find entertaining - but she has again created a memorable character who suffers and is redeemed.
Unlike Gone Girl (which I liked a lot), this movie does not have a major plot twist in the middle. This is a Whodunit, with the finger pointed on a different character every 15 minutes or so. And instead of flashy, campy directing by David Fincher, Paquet- Brenner opts for social realism and... dark. Which is a good thing, because it keeps the focus on the plot which is thick, and moves at breakneck speed. The past and the present are interwoven seamlessly until the end, which was surprisingly moving - and for my money more satisfying than Gone Girl's. The acting is solid throughout, with special mention to Christina Hendricks and Corey Stoll as the emotional core. Hendricks is absolutely stellar. Gillian Flynn's unique voice comes through in the Voice Over narration and the dialogues which are at times funny and quite cynical. This time, the themes are growing up as a victim, confronting your past, the satanic panic of the 80's, as as with Gone Girl, the lies we tell ourselves and others. Definitely worth the price of admission. 9/10
I am one of the lucky guys to watch this movie in Paris earlier than
the fans around the world. After the initial 30 minutes, the movie
starts picking up its pace which was maintained till the end.The
screenplay and direction were near perfect.
Needless to say, Charlize Theron has done an amazing job in acting. She carries the film on her shoulder from the beginning to the end. Next to her, Chloe has done a good job. Apart from these actors, the other people play a little role.
I can say that it's better than Gone Girl. Just go for it people. You won't get disappointed. My rating : 9/10.
Dark Places was interesting but not as riveting as I had hoped. I never
had a chance to read the book - because the movie came out very early
in France - so I watched the film with fresh eyes not knowing what I
was in for. Problem solver that I am, I watched the film looking for
clues but I fairly quickly had all the right suspects lined up before I
even got through a quarter of the movie. I don't know if it's a
testament to my "mad" deductive skills or a lack of mystery in the
story telling. The exact same thing happened to me with Gone Girl - the
book - which is why I didn't finish reading it. I guess I was hopping
for more of a challenge with Dark Places, something that would have
surprised me at the end.
Anyway, I still enjoyed the film, particularly how Libby's past memories were shot. They had an 1980s feel to them, I mean in the quality of the images, they had an old VHS tape look to them. They were grainy and shaky, which also gave them an horror movie vibe, while at the same time illustrating how Libby feels about them.
The film is like the title suggest dark, and I'm not just talking about the murders but the whole context the characters are in. It's socially realistic, you really feel for the struggling mother (Christina Hendricks) and her kids, the poverty and the hardship of their situation is almost palpable and that's thanks to Hendricks' performance. The rest of the cast is good but Christina Hendricks and Corey Stoll stand out and elevate the film.
So to me Dark Places really depicts how prejudices, despair, and a bunch of white lies can snow ball and change people's lives forever. It's definitely not thriller of the year but the film is not boring. @wornoutspines
First of all don't expect to see a better film than gone girl (the the
book by Gillian Flynn) I saw this film last night, and I can say is
that is a good film, better than the book, the cast it's good but apart
from Charlize Theron (who make a great interpretation of Libby day)and
Chloe Moretz( that give a tremendous performance of Diondra) the other
characters are in the movie like 10 minutes tops, I don't know why they
put Nicholas Hoult in the top billed cast if he is hardly in the movie.
The direction it's not very good, but it gets along with the movie, then if you haven't read the book the plot it's gonna surprise you in the end, it's not a great twist like in gone girl but it's tolerable, sure you expect more, but i think it's some kind of predictable ending.
In the end dark places turns out to be to the movie that everyone expect to be.
Let's just get the obvious out of the way: The book was better. Much
better. Even so, this is a fantastic movie.
The direction is solid, the score is good, and the cinematography is moody and, at times, downright beautiful. Technically, it's a solid film all around, but what really elevates Dark Places to greatness is the cast. The acting here: It was just fantastic fantastic fantastic. And that's the most important thing here. Gillian Flynn has a talent for writing vivid, real, and disturbed characters that are actually hard to part with once you read the last pages of her books. While the cast here may not embody the physical description of her characters, it doesn't really matter, because they all give absolutely stellar performances that feel completely true to the people in Flynn's book. See this for the acting alone.
But then there is the mystery aspect of it, too. The twist here is about as shocking as Gone Girl's, except it is not in the middle of the movie, and it throws a much more emotional gut-punch. If you are an empathetic person, you may feel quite depressed after this one, but hopeful, too. This is how mysteries are meant to make people feel.
In short, this is just absolutely one of the best movies of the year. See it.
This is the first time ever that I'm able to write in a review that
I read the book before I watched the film! I'm an avid movie fanatic
and not much of a book reader, but for some reason I read both Gillian
Flynn novels (this one as well as "Gone Girl") before they were turned
into Hollywood movies with an all-star cast. "Dark Places" is clearly
not as successful as "Gone Girl", because the release got pushed back a
couple of times and this one isn't likely to ever end up in the IMDb
top 250. Now, I always disliked that typical and clichéd statement:
"the book is much better than the film", but I must admit that there's
truth in it
Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner's screenplay adaptation is
very loyal to Flynn's novel, and thus the basic subject matter is tense
and unsettling, but for some inexplicable reason the book is compelling
whereas the film is rather tedious
"Dark Places" tells the story of
Libby Day. At the tender age of 7, Libby witnessed how her mother and
two sisters were brutally slain in their Kansas farm at night, and she
confirmed to the authorities that her 15-year-old brother Ben was the
culprit. 28 years later, Libby understandably grew up to become an
angry, secluded and insecure woman. Driven by financial issues, Libby
accepts the peculiar Lyle's offer to attend a meeting of the Kill Club.
This bizarre collective exists of people who're investigating infamous
(and unsolved) murder cases, and they are convinced that Ben Day is
innocent. Reluctant at first, Libby begins to unravel the mystery of
what exactly happened on the awful night that ruined her life. The
search confronts her with her imprisoned brother and her estranged
father, but also brings new secrets to the surface about her mother
Patty and her brother's long lost high- school girlfriend Diondra.
It's very strange and difficult to describe, but every new plot twist or revelation that was captivating in the book comes across as implausible in the film. Especially the character of the mother, Patty Day, was much more powerful in the novel. Her hopelessness and desperation isn't properly transferred to the screen and therefore a couple of essential twists near the end become downright unbelievable. Obviously this isn't the fault of the screenplay, because a book lends itself much better to describe emotions and mental states of mind in great detail. This is also the main reason why the protagonist character Libby never truly becomes the intriguing character she deserves to be. "Dark Places" definitely also suffers from a shortage of action, especially during the first hour, and the great potential of the "Kill Club" isn't elaborated properly enough (although that also wasn't the case in the book). Paquet-Brenner does, however, marvelously captivate the grim and depressing atmosphere of the Midwestern American slums and insolvent family farms. The performances are more than adequate as well, with particularly strong roles for Charlize Theron and Nicolas Hoult. Just a week ago, I also saw them act together in "Mad Max: Fury Road" but this is quite a different type of film. Christina Hendricks is amazing as the poor and pitiable single mother and I was also very surprised to see a strong role for Chloë Grace Moretz. "Dark Places" is a great book to read (personally I even preferred it over "Gone Girl) and the film is also definitely worth checking out, but I only recommend either reading the book or watching the film. Otherwise you're guaranteed to stumble upon the flaws more easily.
The book is brilliant! but this movie is just plain stupid. I think the director totally misunderstood the story. He didn't bother to build up the plot lines and the pacing is with the nicest word a disaster. The casting is by the worst you could imagine for these characters. Christina Hendricks as Patty Day and Charlize Theron as Libby day. Really!!?? They are supposed to be poor farmer white trash, not sex bombs. The rights for the book must have been sold way before gone girl. Otherwise it had surely been taken better care of. It is really sad that a good story like the one in the book have been treated in such a bad way. I'm honestly so disappointed that I can't write any constructive comments about it. If you have read the book, please don't ruin it by watching this crap.
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