DVD Review: DARKNESS (Unrated)

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DARKNESS (Unrated Version)

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 102 minutes, featurette, Theatrical trailer and teaser, previews.


RELEASE DATE: 4-26-2005

ANALYSIS: DARKNESS had a long way to go to release in the USA. It sat in the dark for two years before Dimension released an edited down PG-13 version which didn't do much business during the holiday season as many people hated it as much as some fear the dark. Now Dimension has released DARKNESS to DVD in two versions: the PG-13 cut and the Unrated version that the rest of the world watched about two years ago. The Unrated Version has 14 additional minutes that were cut for a PG-13 rating.

Director Jaume Balaguero starts DARKNESS as a drama where a family who have moved to Spain have lots of baggage. Soon you release the house they moved into is haunted by evil forces with their sinister intentions as it begins to affect the way the father (Iain Glen) and his son act. His wife ( Lena Olin) thinks it is the recurrence of her husband's illness and that her son is acting up to being in a new place. On the other hand, their teenage daughter Regina (Anna Paquin) believes it is the house that is the problem.

DARKNESS is an average horror movie that is nothing original. The atmosphere is what carries it. DARKNESS may be less enjoyable with additional viewings. I enjoyed it, but I don't know if I will get the same thrills and chills since it is very unremarkable. The actors do a good job despite the material (while some men may admire the size of Anna Paquin's breasts under her clothes).

VIDEO/AUDIO: DARKNESS is seen in 2.40:1 (Anamorphic for Widescreen TVs). Colors and blacks are just OK, but image detail is only good enough to provide an average picture because it is soft looking at times while showing grain in dark scenes.

You can hear DARKNESS in English 5.1 Dolby Surround or a French language track with the option of English captions or Spanish subtitles. Dialogue is OK as long as you turn the volume up a little. Music and sound effects are loud and provide the ambience needed for this atmospheric horror film.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Nothing much in the extras department other than a three minute of promotional fluff called DARKNESS ILLUMINATED, previews for other movies (SIN CITY and CURSED), and theatrical trailer and teaser for DARKNESS.

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you dare to watch DARKNESS or to see if the Unrated version is better than the PG-13 version no one liked, I suggest you rent it and not buy it.

this DVD Review is (c)5-17-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia