Leon van Nierop
2 minute read
11 Sep 2015
2:00 pm

Dark Places movie review

Leon van Nierop

This is not the best movie of the week, neither is it Gillian Flynn's best work, especially after the success of her superb novel, Gone Girl.

But it might still pack an effective punch if you feel like entering a netherworld packed with anguish, suspicion, doubt, murder and Satanism. Flynn remains a good storyteller and even though she didn’t adapt her own novel like she did with Gone Girl (director Gilles Paquet-Brenner wrote the script), the film might satisfy some readers on a superficial level. It is the equivalent of an airport
novel – something you can read (or watch) in one sitting before forgetting it and moving on to something better. The movie may be on circuit for about three weeks before being banished to DVD.

And only the presence of our very own Charlize Theron might attract more viewers than usual. Dark Places concerns a family that was wiped out by a youngster involved in the darker side of life. Our heroine, young Libby Day (Charlize plays her as an adult) woke up one night to discover her entire family had been viciously attacked and murdered. The only suspect is her younger brother, Ben.

All the warning signs were there all the time: drug abuse, books about the occult, aggressive inscriptions in books and graphic novels adjourning his room. Now, 28 years later, there might be new evidence he was innocent and his obsession with the dark places of existence was incidental. By why didn’t he file an appeal if he didn’t commit the murder?

Dark Places has a plot as complicated as Gone Girl, but not quite as well executed. The focus is on who killed the innocent victims, as the synopsis clearly states Libby’s brother Ben might be innocent. The question is: is it worth forking out R60 plus popcorn and Coke and venturing out onto the mean streets to discover the truth?

Well, kind of … So, if you go, keep your wits together and concentrate. That might be the only way to solve the mystery before the cops do. But the most important question is: will you buy the twist in the tale?