This reviewer was excited about the potential of "DARKNESS". Sure, it had been sitting on the shelf for some time, but the thought of accomplished, beautiful Lena Olin in a horror film, and a compelling trailer, made the film attractive enough. There has also been a lot of praise around a short film from Director Balaguero.
Balaguero does create a terrific atmosphere throughout the film. Sadly, however, the script is dreadful! After a compelling opening sequence, in which a young child is being interviewed after escaping from a horrible unknown situation, the story jumps 40 years into the future. Lena Olin, her husband and two children have moved into an older, creepy house in Spain. Everything about the family seems creepy as well. The father has extreme anger problems, the mother is distant and completely uncaring, and the son spends a lot of time drawing scary images. In spite of the daughter recognizing all this and continuing to see a strange man on the street outside her home, she doesn't manage to connect the dots, even at the very end!!! It's more than frustrating!
Again, there are some eerie, scary moments, but, in the end, it's "MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING" without any intentional laughs, and an anti-climatic ending.
BUENA VISTA has preserved the film's 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. The image is solid, with great detail. The contrast is fine, offering deep blacks in the many frequently dark scenes. Colors are on mark throughout.
BUENA VISTA has provided an extremely aggressive Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Surrounds enhance the film's eerie atmosphere constantly, and help carry the film through most of its slower moments. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
A short featurette, "DARKNESS ILLUMINATED", offers quick interviews with cast and the director via a translator.
Trailers for the film are also included.