A teenage girl moves into a remote countryside house with her family, only to discover that their gloomy new home has a horrifying past that threatens to destroy the family.


Jaume Balagueró
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Paquin ... Regina
Lena Olin ... Maria
Iain Glen ... Mark
Giancarlo Giannini ... Albert Rua
Fele Martínez ... Carlos
Stephan Enquist Stephan Enquist ... Paul
Fermí Reixach ... Villalobos (as Fermi Reixach)
Francesc Pagès Francesc Pagès ... Driver Traffic Jam
Craig Stevenson ... Electrician
Paula Fernández Paula Fernández ... Girl 1
Gemma Lozano Gemma Lozano ... Girl 2
Xavier Allepuz Xavier Allepuz ... Boy 1
Joseph Roberts Joseph Roberts ... Boy 2
Marc Ferrando Marc Ferrando ... Boy 3
Josh Gaeta Josh Gaeta ... Boy 4


There's something in this house... Something ancient and dark that remains still, hidden and silent. It can only wait, having been concealed in the shadows for years. In fact, its milieu is darkness. Only in it can it show itself and move. It even takes its name: DARKNESS. It's lived here since someone tried to call it, more than forty years ago. Because this house hides a secret, a terrible past, an inconceivably evil act... Seven children, faceless people, a circle that must be completed. And blood, lots of blood... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some secrets should never come to light See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, intense terror sequences, thematic elements and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Miramax/Dimension had paid $4 million for the rights to distribute the movie in North America and some other territories, but then shelved it for more than two years. The company gave the film a US theatrical release at Christmas 2004 after heavy editing to secure a PG-13 rating. See more »


(Around 23 minutes into the movie) Regina comes down the stairs and sees that her dad has found a secret room under the stairs. Her father comes out holding a picture apparently very interested. Regina asks her father, "What's that?" looking at the space under the stairs. We then see a still frame where just barely, you can see Regina's father still in the space looking at the picture even though he had just stepped out of that area. See more »


Regina: Since when are you afraid of the dark?
Paul: Everything is different here.
See more »

Alternate Versions

US theatrical version was heavily edited to get PG-13 rating.
  • the word "fuck" is changed to "freek/frick".
  • the man slicing his finger happens off screen
  • the boy being attacked inside of his room by the six kids isn't shown
  • the R-rated version shows more intense sequences of the satanic ritual which was performed on the six kids.
See more »

User Reviews

A real treat for horror fans
17 February 2003 | by mezenovSee all my reviews

Spain - what a great country! It gave us Julio Medem, it gave us Alejandro Amenabar, and now there's Jaume Balaguero, the man who brought us Darkness, a horror film that's clever, fresh & intriguing. An american family (Iain Glen & Lena Olin) with a teenage daughter (Anna Paquin) & a little boy (Stepnah Enquist) moves into an old house somewhere in Spain, and soon enough find out that there's something wrong with it. There are ghosts of children, supposedly murdered in this very house, there's a strange man walking around the house watching it silently, the little boy is afraid of the dark & wakes up with bruises on his body & the father, who A) has a dark secret in his past, which is somehow connected to the house & B) is not very well in the mental department, starts going a little bit crazy. Sure, it all sounds corny enough, and every person who've seen films like The Sixth Sense, A Stir Of Echoes and The Shining can smile his way through the first half of the film thinking he's seen it all already. But Balaguero has more tricks up his sleeve then just a collection of genre cliches. In fact, he enjoys playing with these cliches, because later things turn not quite the way you were dead sure they would, and the final act has even more surprises in stock. The film is genuinly scary, especially in the second half when the tension just won't let up. The visuals are good - a couple of scenes are pretty likely to haunt you days, maybe even months after watching the film. The final verdict: definitely worth seeing, maybe even more than once. I haven't received that much pleasure from a horror film in quite a while

P.S. And please, people, stop comparing it to The Others, the two films have very little in common except for the set-up (children in a haunted house)

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Spain



Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dark See more »

Filming Locations:

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain See more »


Box Office


$10,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,400,000, 26 December 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Unrated Version)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital EX


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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