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
The following scenes were cut for the US theatrical version:
After Maria (Lena Olin) and Regina (Anna Paquin) talk at the breakfast table about unpacking, there is extra dialogue in which Regina admits she hasn't decided if she is staying or not. Interestingly, Dimension cut all references to the family have these kind of domestic issues with the daughter.
Following the first scene at the swimming pool, there is a brief scene where Regina is visited by her boyfriend Carlos ('Fele Martinez') in the girls' locker room. They talk briefly about him coming over and she chastises him for sneaking into the locker room. A girl walks by in the background in a towel and no nudity is in the scene. When Mark (Iain Glen) is driving Paul (Stephan Enquist) to school, Paul asks, "Are you and Mom going to split up?" Mark responds by saying that "only families that don't get along split up."
After Mark arrives home from the hospital, Regina has an argument with her mom on the front porch. The US version edits a section of dialogue where the mom says, "If you don't like it here than you can just get your things together and go."
Following this fight, Regina visits Carlos in his apartment. She tells him about the argument while he develops photographs.
Following her father's row with the electrician, there is an extra scene where Regina returns to her room where Carlos is painting. He surprises her by taking a photograph (during the flash the ghost children are seen; it figures in later). She says to him, "I'm staying." When Carlos asks why, Regina tells him not to ask her and only says, "I can't leave now."
Regina and Carlos have additional dialogue before the scene where she tells him about her father condition at the swimming pool. She reiterates that he shouldn't ask her what is going on.
During Mark's second attack when he begins cutting the potatoes franticly with the knife, there are a series of flashes back to his past. After he cuts his hand, there are several close ups of the bloody hand and blood dripping onto the floor.
Two extra scenes appear back to back. One has Regina and Carlos in front of a computer looking up information and discovering "Ouroboros" and a website outlining some of the ritual. The other has the architect discovering the original letter with the design plans of the house while he is digging through papers. The US version cuts straight to Carlos and Regina in the library.
A family movies into a house in what is apparently the Spanish countryside. The dad starts to go crazy, the young son has welts all over his body, and the daughter (Anna Paquin) tries to figure out what is going on in their new home.
I don't feel I have the right to judge this movie because I saw the edited version that was theatrically released in the US in December 2004, not the original version. But I will say that this version is a mediocre and bizarre film that made little sense. The acting is surprisingly below average. It doesn't help that some of the dialogue is incredibly awful, which could possibly be attributed to language barriers between the filmmakers and the cast. Iain Glen laughably overacts as the dad-gone-berserk. Lena Olin is unusually awful as the mother in denial. Anna Paquin plays her character with such random lascivious looks on her face, that seem very out of context. Adding to the lewdness is the fact that in her scenes the camera often started at her crotch and then panned up. These scenes weren't like the kind in a typical sleazy horror movie. It seemed like they were done with some mysterious underlying purpose that the director never follows through with.
The film does have a unique atmosphere and some otherwise beautiful camera-work, and a few decent scares. But it could have been so much more. Still, it is better than Darkness Falls. My Rating: 5/10.
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