6.2/10
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105 user 152 critic

Dark Places (2015)

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Libby Day was only eight years old when her family was brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Almost thirty years later, she reluctantly agrees to revisit the crime and uncovers the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night.

Writers:

Gilles Paquet-Brenner (written for the screen by), Gillian Flynn (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
2,853 ( 157)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlize Theron ... Libby Day
Sterling Jerins ... Young Libby Day
Nicholas Hoult ... Lyle Wirth
Christina Hendricks ... Patty Day
Corey Stoll ... Ben Day
Tye Sheridan ... Young Ben Day
Andrea Roth ... Diondra
Chloë Grace Moretz ... Young Diondra
Sean Bridgers ... Runner Day
J. LaRose ... Trey Teepano (as J LaRose)
Shannon Kook ... Young Trey Teepano
Jennifer Pierce Mathus ... Diane
Natalie Precht ... Michelle Day
Madison McGuire ... Debby Day
Lori Z. Cordova ... Magda
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Storyline

Libby Day is a lifeless woman who survived the massacre of her family in their farmhouse in the countryside of Kansas when she was eight. She's been living on donations and lectures ever since. Thirty years ago, the police believed that a satanic cult was responsible for the murder of her mother and two sisters, and her brother Ben was convicted with her testimony in court. Today, however, an acquaintance, Lyle Wirth, invites Libby to visit "The Kill Club", where amateurs investigate famous crimes, and she finds that they believe Ben is innocent. Libby needs money and, in return, accepts to revisit the slaughter of her family and comes up to the painful revelations and the ultimate truth. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1985, her entire family was murdered. 30 years later, the truth emerges.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing violence, language, drug use and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 June 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lugares oscuros See more »

Filming Locations:

Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$208,588, 31 December 2015

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,090,852, 14 December 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name. See more »

Goofs

When Young Ben is on the witness stand, the Kansas flag is on his right and the U.S. flag is on his left. By law, the U.S. flag should be on the flag's own right (the observer's left) and any other flag on the observer's right. See more »

Quotes

Libby Day: There are few phrases that annoy me more than "I won't bite". The only line that pisses me off faster is when some drunk, ham-faced dude in a bar sees me trying to get past him and barks: "Smile, it can't be that bad!" Yeah, actually, it can, jackwad.
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Connections

Referenced in On Cinema: 'Dark Places' and 'The Green Inferno' (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Never Came Close
Written by Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones
Performed by Belong
Courtesy of Kranky, Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A satisfying mystery that tells of savage desperation and sadistic cold-hearted murder
20 July 2015 | by ArchonCinemaReviewsSee all my reviews

Ungodly and sinister, Gillian Flynn's Dark Places is just as devilish as you hope.

Again Gillian Flynn takes inspiration from the headlines, this time Dark Places sheds unsettling and ominous light on the famed mass murders that capture society's attention.

When Libby Day (Charlize Theron) was just seven years old, she was the lone survivor and he family was viciously murdered in what the media claimed was a satanic occult sacrifice at the desolate farmhouse in Kansas. Her brother Ben, just fifteen at the time, was found to be guilty. Twenty-five years later, in desperate need of cash and with no way to get it except capitalize and exploit her seedy past, she allows an organization obsessed with real life murders investigate the case with her help, as they hope to exonerate Ben. As she investigates her past, she opens old wounds and uncovers things about her life she had long since buried deep in her soul.

Not being able to speak of the novel, the Dark Places as a film does a great job of leading you on myriad paths of misdirection. The audience desperately following leads and evidence to discover the truth of what happened that fateful night in the when a family was brutally murdered, leaving two surviving siblings left standing when the carnage stopped. The multi-layered story is well paced and realistically utilizes real life murders and victims for a believable interpretation of a crime.

Gillian Flynn and her fellow screenwriter of the adaptation, Gilles Paquet-Brenner, do a marvelous job of refusing to resort to lazy exposition, showing rather than telling. The result is an engaging mystery that garners your full attention in the hopes you might be able to deduce the truth of the heinously bloody murders. Paquet-Brenner does double duty in directing the film, and translates the subject matter with cohesively gritty and complementary cinematography.

It seems as though fans of the novel were a bit disappointed in the casting for this film, that Theron does not match the physicality of Flynn's written description. Not knowing this fact, Charlize Theron is flawless as the tortured lead Libby. Her Libby and the medley of supporting characters are gripping and match the brutal content of the film.

Dark Places is a satisfying mystery that tells of savage desperation and sadistic cold-hearted murder. Given the weak and bland thrillers of recent years that shy away from the truly horrifying callous of human nature, fans of the genre should be pleased.

7.5/10 Please check our website for full reviews of all the recent releases.


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