7.2/10
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It's Dark Here (2013)

Not Rated | | Drama
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The Tennies' family and the pain that they all endure as a result of their son's sudden Schizophrenic break. Based on a true story.

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(screenplay), (original story by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jason Tennies
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Linda Tennies
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David Tennies
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Andrew
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Eric
Sam Stone ...
Shay
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Brian
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Britney
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Sensei Chris
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Brendan
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Dr. Wagner
Debbie Singer ...
Dr. Wagner's Receptionist
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Duke
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Mean Girl
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Mean Girl
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Storyline

It's Dark Here is the true story of Jason Tennies, an extremely gifted and accomplished young man -- a black belt in karate, a college student, a talented musician and most especially, the beloved only child of David and Linda. When Jason inexplicably and without warning suffers a schizophrenic break, his parents scramble desperately to get him the help he requires. In five short days, they must watch helplessly as their beloved son disappears before their eyes. As they endure this nightmare, they cannot help but reflect on happier times and what might have been while also facing the potential outcome for their family. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Potential To Be Really Effecting But Comes Off as TV-Movie-ish
1 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

I saw this a while back, and I thought the subject matter was really interesting: our closest family members can be struck in the middle of the night with a mental illness and can be lost to us so fast. The movie had the potential to be so moving, but I thought the filmmakers did a really bad job at depicting the Tennies' story.

First of all, the performances did the movie no favors. William Mapother and Illeana Douglas do so little to make the Tennies look like likable, concerned parents. Most of their interactions with other characters are incredibly hostile and stilted. Even Bubba Lewis, who I normally like, can't convincing play a schizophrenic character without making it cheesy and funny. Sorry, there needs to be more nuance in depicting someone who has visual hallucinations-- not someone who is completely off the wall.

Maybe I'm too harsh-- the script didn't help the actors. I can go on and on about all the moments I hated: When Mom Tennies had that huge cry towards the end that was way over the top, when Jason had that hallucination of the TV, lines like "I feel compelled to mention that he has a black belt." Aye-yi-yi. Those type of moments you would expect out of an lifetime movie. Furthermore, I get and understood that Jason Tennies was a kind, interesting young man who was taken away too soon, but it doesn't help anyone to constantly weave in flashbacks that don't really have any connection to the present story. It just makes the movie feel disjointed.

Honestly, if this wasn't a true story, I'd probably give the movie a 2. Since it was, I am empathetic to the Tennies' loss and the need for them to tell his story. However, I felt the filmmakers should have done a better job for them in depicting him as a heroic, sympathetic figure-- not some over-dramatized mental illness indie drama.


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