Monday, June 3, 2013

Film Review: The Dark Hours (2005)

The Dark Hours (Review)
Canada/2005
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

Dr. Samantha Goodman, a psychiatrist, is told to take a break after aggressively questioning a patient, consequently causing the patient to violently erupt. She goes to the winter cottage where her husband, David, is finishing his book with his assistant, Melody, who also happens to be Samantha's younger sister. Later that night, Adrian, a young man locked out of his cottage, shows up asking for shelter...

Adrian, however, has ulterior motives as he holds the family hostage after shooting the family dog. Eventually, Adrian's partner, Harlan Pyne, shows up. Harlan, a violent sex offender, was a patient of Samantha and he's come to exact his revenge; Harlan believes Samantha mistreated him while he was under her care. Harlan has several psychological games planned for the trio, and he will reveal the secrets they've been hiding for so long.

The story in this film is a mysterious, psychological thriller. There are plenty of twists packed into this 1hr 20min features - I tried to avoid as many of them as possible in the summary. There are many compelling scenes and questions that will occur throughout the film. Who is the real monster: Harlan or Samantha? The story really makes you question who you're rooting for. On one hand, Harlan is a viciously violent sex offender. On the other hand, Samantha is a self-centered, manipulative, and deceitful doctor. I write doctor because these attribute usually aren't affiliated with doctors, and this makes her character that much more dislikable. I enjoy the focus on character in this film, and I also enjoy the story - it starts off moderately paced, then it spirals out of control, in a good way. I'll admit, the ending of the film is a bit predictable, especially if you're familiar with similar stories, but it was enjoyable, nonetheless.

The acting in the film is great. Aidan Devine plays Harlan Pyne, and I really enjoyed his performance. He really nailed the sinister yet controlled character, he doesn't overact and his not bland, he's just right. The dialogue in this film is sometimes bland and unnatural, so that affects the flow of the cast. The music was well-fitted, although it wasn't anything special. The storytelling is smooth, and it was ferociously paced - this combo made the film feel like it ended before it started.

Overall, The Dark Hours is a fast, captivating, and entertaining burst of psychological thrills. It follows a safe route, so it may feel very familiar, especially if you've seen many films in the
genre. I recommend this film for fans of the genre and viewers looking to quickly kill a night. A rental otherwise.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong blood and violence, a sex scene with brief nudity.

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