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Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Darkness 2016 * 1/2 Stars

The DarknessDirector: Greg McLean
Year: 2016
Rated PG-13
Rating: * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Jennifer Morrison

"I see dead people". In regards to The Darkness (my latest review), I "see" a real shoddy ghost flick with virtually nothing that will leave your knees knocking.

"Darkness" stars the interconnected Kevin Bacon. I remember when he referred to his bicycle movie Quicksilver, as the absolute lowest point of his career. Kevin might wanna retract that statement here and now.

The Darkness with a budget of $4 million, is a Poltergeist I and II wannabe, a feeble account of the supernatural. Its director is Wolf Creek's Greg McLean. In between moments of not being able to hold his camera steady, McLean also sets up sequences in which things go bump in the night. It's all for show and not even for effect. He actually tries to frighten his audience by having stuff about demons explained on YouTube (coupled with some standard, background music). Talk about a desperate attempt.

There's also the over familiar conclusion of "Darkness". Kevin Bacon's character (Peter Taylor) says, "hey you know we can beat this together". Me, well I wanted to "beat" the DVD for The Darkness with a hammer before returning it to Redbox. Thankfully, I retrained myself.

Anyway, along with feeling sorry for Bacon in the lead, you also have to contend with his character's son. He's the obligatory youngster with special powers (of the clairvoyant kind) and he's played by J.J. Abrams mini-me, David Mazouz. Little Cole Sear from The Sixth Sense. Little Danny Torrance from The Shining. Little Carol Anne from Poltergeist. Little Emily Callaway from Hide and Seek. Most of these fright fest tykes are for the most part, memorable. Mazouz's Michael from "Darkness", is not. He's more akin to a younger version of Justin Bartha's Brian from Gigli. Whoops.

Image result for the darkness 2016 movie scenesFeaturing no jump scares of any kind, distributed by Universal Pictures, and filmed almost two years before its release, The Darkness chronicles a young autistic boy named Michael Taylor (Mazouz). The movie begins with Michael getting lost in the Grand Canyon and stumbling upon some rocks that he brings home. These rocks belong to demonic entities who take the form of snakes, coyotes, and wolves. Chaos ensues at the Taylor home with the family slowly coming apart at the seams. Look out for mediocre acting, dreadful dialogue, and stock special effects. Cast members like Radha Mitchell, Paul Reiser, and Ming-Na Wen obviously don't realize that they're featured in one of this year's most banal endeavors. I wanted to throw popcorn at them through the screen. Then I wanted to hurl Raisinets at these clowns later on.

In conclusion, "Darkness" is a lifeless, de facto horror concoction. The best scene in it is the opening one and it's more comedic than anything else (that can't be good). If you wanna experience an effective nightmare starring Kevin Bacon, well you better check out 1999's Stir of Echoes instead. Heck, even the way six degrees Kevin dies in Friday the 13th (with an arrow to the thyroid), is ten times more terrifying than anything in The Darkness. Rating: 1 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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