Amber city is the last city on earth with a breathable atmosphere. In this climate of fear and paranoia, Isan Epel finds herself trapped by her employers, Schilman's inc, after working in ... See full summary »
Ida Marie Bakkerud,
Ingrid Enger Damon,
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A young girl, Johanna Ravn, is jogging in the woods, when she's suddenly attacked by a man in an orange jumpsuit. Her assailant drills a hole in her skull and leaves her for dead. When the police calls Johanna's father, Morten Ravn, to ask him to identify his daughter's body in the morgue, he tells them that she has just walked in and is sitting in front of her PC. But there's something wrong with Johanna. Black oil is flowing from her eyes and the only message she's able to type on her screen is one long cry for help. She's in a state of decay, and she's not the only one. All over town, people are attacked by men in orange jumpsuits with electrical drills. The victims all suffer from the same symptoms, with their bodies slowly disintegrating in front of their loved ones. Frustrated with the lack of results from the local police, Morten takes it on himself to investigate the attacks and tracks the killer back to his hideout in secluded manufacturing plant where he begins to uncover ...Written by
A man tracks his daughter's attacker, an enigmatic killer who injects a bizarre pathogen into his victims' brains.
A toolbox killer is running loose in Oslo with a nasty drilling habit. After screwing a hole in his victims' skulls, he injects something strange into their brains which kills them. But not for long. They come back to life, their gradually rotting bodies producing a mysterious new hydrocarbon, like crude oil, a foul, caustic, bilious substance which they vomit up in great abundance.
When his daughter (Broch) is found dead with a drill hole in her cranium, Morten (Ravn) receives a call from the police requesting him to identify her body. But he can't, he answers, there must be some mistake. She's perfectly alright, right here at home, just came in the door.
But Morten's daughter Maria is anything but alright. Her face is rotting and she's barfing oil. When perplexed doctors ask to experiment on her, Morten decides to take Maria back home, covering all his furnishings with protective plastic to guard against her, um, frequent spills. Brain damaged, deranged, Maria stumbles about the apartment and stares blankly at the dinner table, repeatedly banging her spoonful of mashed potatoes into her cheek and forehead instead of into her mouth.
Meanwhile, the victim count rises as the mad driller strikes again and again throughout Oslo. Following a chance encounter in which the culprit attacks Morten, Morten, with Maria in tow, begins tracking the maniac. Morten discovers a ghastly connection to a sinister North Sea, deep drilling oil disaster, as he unearths a bizarre, nightmarish, dark plot.
Dark Souls is a Norwegian effort, and North Seas oil production is a major nationalized industry in Norway. Eighty percent of Norwegian petroleum production is owned by the government, which retains 85% of net petroleum revenues. The Norwegian government effectively distributes the benefits of its oil wealth, regionally and throughout its population. Due also in part to a generous social welfare system, an equitable labor relations system and a progressive tax system, Norway can boast one of the lowest levels of income inequality in the world.
The benefit comes at a cost; Like any country, Norway has had its share of shameful petroleum mishaps, from the June 2000 Project Deep Spill, the first ever international deep sea oil spill, to the more recent 2007 Statfjord oil spill, and the 2009 Full City oil spill. Norway has strong government oversight of oil exploration and extraction. Citizens expect accountability from their governing bodies. Controversial courses of action by Norway's Ministries of Industry and Petroleum and Energy have been the subject of major environmental protests and lawsuits. An example stems from the Norwegian government's go-ahead for continued Arctic drilling despite appalling, hazardous 2007 and 2008 StatoilHydro leaks in the Barents Sea.
It's little wonder then that Norway's Dark Souls' finds its inspiration in the viscous black well of its own petroleum industry. The film's prominent themes are familiar ones. The concept of environmental bad karma and mysterious substances which once ingested, wreak recombinant DNA havoc strongly smack of movies we've seen before. To wit: H.G. Wells' The Food of the Gods (1976), The Children (1980 and 2008 -previously reviewed here), and The Stuff (1985). In each of these films, malignant industries go too far in the name of greed. Fallout ensues in the form of a grotesque backlash where monsters dole out horrid retribution upon the society which passively stood by while corporate outrages were committed against nature.
Some subtle tongue-in-cheek posturing lets us know that Dark Souls doesn't take itself too seriously, yet it is never campy or silly. The film manages to combine some chills with delightfully disgusting revulsion. Featuring an abundance of Steadicam shots, Dark Souls imposes a close-in, almost documentary-style, gritty feeling, without straying into the realm of cheap "found footage" style movies. While more mysterious and eerie than horrifying and scary, Dark Souls is a first rate production with a few memorable scenes, and a refreshing lack of a Hollywood-requisite "happy ending."
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