5.4/10
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111 user 62 critic

The Dark (2005)

In mourning over the tragic drowning of their daughter Sarah, James and Adèle are visited by Ebrill, a young girl who claims she died 60 years ago - and bears a startling resemblance to Sarah.

Director:

John Fawcett

Writers:

Simon Maginn (novel), Stephen Massicotte (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Maria Bello ... Adèlle
Sean Bean ... James
Maurice Roëves ... Dafydd
Sophie Stuckey ... Sarah
Abigail Stone Abigail Stone ... Ebrill
Richard Elfyn ... Rowan
Casper Harvey Casper Harvey ... Young Dafydd
Eluned Jones Eluned Jones ... Doctor
Gwenyth Petty Gwenyth Petty ... Librarian
Robin Griffith Robin Griffith ... Police Inspector
Mike Keggen Mike Keggen ... Rib Skipper
Tonya Smith ... Main Stumblehead Martyr
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Storyline

While in Wales visiting her husband James, Adèlle tries to fix her relationship with her teenager daughter Sarah. They see a weird memorial without the plate and with the name "Annwyn" marked, and the local Dafydd explains that this would be the place where people go after dying in accordance with the Welsh mythology. Later, Sarah vanishes on the beach and the daughter of the local fanatic shepherd, Ebrill, who died fifty years ago, appears in her place. Adele makes a research trying to find how to rescue her daughter from Annway. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One of the living for one of the dead.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent/disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The concept of Annwn or Annwyn (pronounted "a-non") is not made up especially for the film or the book on which it was based. Annwn is land of the dead, the underworld or Afterlife in Welsh mythology. It is said to lay far in the west and could be accessed by the living through a door located at the mouth of the Severn once a year. Surviving from pre-Christian Celtic mythology, it's neither Heaven nor Hell in the Christian sense, and the living can enter spiritually or corporeally. This is the first film about Annwn. See more »

Goofs

Ebrill is consistently mispronounced as 'Ebrith' ('Ebrydd' in Welsh, although there is no such Welsh word). There is no English equivalent for 'll' but it should be pronounced as something closer to 'Ebrych' to the 'ch' as in the Scottish 'loch' (although that sound also exists in Welsh). See more »

Quotes

Adèlle: The night Sarah went missing, I saw a girl.
James: You saw a girl?
Adèlle: Yes, out in the yard.
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Alternate Versions

An alternate ending is included on the USA Region 1 DVD from Sony Pictures. See more »

User Reviews

 
Don't blame me.
1 September 2009 | by simon_hugh_musicSee all my reviews

Look, I would just like to add my voice to this. I wrote the novel, Sheep. The film is 'adapted' from my book the exact same way a pile of rubble is 'adapted' from a house. My book is a slow, serious thriller on the theme of contamination, of land, of food, of livestock, and of minds. It is about ritual purity, conformism and the category-error that is literal biblical belief. It is, in short, about something. None (NONE!) of the filmmakers had read it, they just had a script based on another script, and were highly indignant when my agent suggested they actually read the original.

The film takes some of the visual gestures that animate the book (sheep diseases, religious mania etc), but then scoops out all the surrounding connective tissue, everything that makes the book make sense, replacing it with some kind of pulp which looks to me as if the writer was shaken violently awake in the middle of the night and asked to regurgitate the story lines from the last five horror movies he had seen, except his notes got all scrambled up - the result being a sort of plot-pudding, full of screaming and running about and unexplained (unexplainable) twists.

No disrespect to anyone, and I know what sort of pressures the screenwriter was under, but the film does not, in any sense, 'adapt' Sheep, the novel. Sheep is a careful, thoughtful book, with a meticulously worked plot. It is also (I am informed) scary (one reviewer said it was the only thing he had ever read which did actually scare him), which the film of course, despite its most strenuous efforts, fails completely to be. The book is not about some vague Disneyfied version of Welsh mythology (nice and safe and distant in these troubled times), it is about Christianity, the Bible: about what happens when religion turns to madness. The scariness is in the waiting, the hinting, the accumulation of detail, drip by drip. It is about fearing, dreading, while something unfolds which cannot be understood until it is too late. I may not have succeeded in any of this, but I was trying. The film just flaps about from one random thing to another, papering over the cracks with tiresome 'shock' effects and Maria Bello screaming.

Copies of Sheep are hard to track down now without paying a lot of money, but I would love it if the people who were disappointed in the film were to read the book. Please don't judge the book (or any of my other books) because you didn't like The Dark: there is almost nothing connecting the two things. Give the book a try: you'll be surprised.

Thanks for your time.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Isle Of Man | UK | USA | Germany

Language:

English | Welsh

Release Date:

26 January 2006 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dark See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP3,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,593,579
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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