Directed by Jaume Balaguero
Written by Jaume Balaguero & Fernando de Felipe
Produced by Julio Fernandez
Cinematography by Xavi Giménez
Cast: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, Giancarlo Giannini, Fele Martinez, Fermi Reixach & Stephan Enquist
2.35:1 anamorphic/English/Spain/PAL Region 2
Review from the Filmax DVD
Jaume Balaguero's DARKNESS follows a family who just moved to a new home. Father and husband Mark (Iain Glen giving a creepy performance), his wife (Lena Olin) and their two children (Anna Paquin and Stephan Enquist) all live in a huge ancient house. At first things are going well but as an eclipse is about to occur in a few days all is not what it seems in the house.
Things are moving by themselves, Mark finds an hidden room with some strange old objects, he also becomes sick again and goes crazy from time to time, at night the power often shut down, strange figures appears in the dark. Regina (Paquin) want to leave but as things deterioates at home she feels like she has to stay. After finding mysterious noose marks on her brother's neck she is suspecting that someone or something in the house hurting him... or is it their father?!
One night, she is followed by someone who she later pays a visit to along with her boyfriend (Martinez). They find out that he is the man who designed the house a long time... for a sect. A sect worshipping darkness who are not done yet. There is only a few hours left before the eclipse is completed. Who will believe them?
Balaguero's DARKNESS is very remiscent in style to his previous film, LOS SIN NOMBRE (THE NAMELESS). He uses the same fast editing techniques, flashes, layers of images, crisp and loud thunderous sounds. Once again this is about a sect resurfacing for more mayhem. Where LOS SIN NOMBRE was a strong film with a weak ending, DARKNESS is a good film but with a great ending. Even though this was filmed in Spain, it featured mostly American actors and it was filmed in English... certainly due to the fact that Dimension are behind this film. Expect a release in North America in 2004. Also Balaguero is trying to remake LOS SIN NOMBRE but in English with an American cast.
The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and it is anamorphic. The image simply looks amazing. As expected because of the title, there are lots of very dark scenes in the film, all are beautifully rendered with absolutely no signs of artifacts, shadow or compression. The image is colorful and free of any grain or noise. We get 3 awesome audio track, an English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks and a Spanish DTS track. All 3 make great uses of the 5.1 DD and DTS use of directional fx capabilities. They are loud and crystal clear. There is also a commentary track with the director but its only in Spanish so... The film is separated in 12 chapters. We also get the usual cast and crew bios.
Now on to the second disc; Jaume introduces the teaser trailer, there's also a pre-trailer in English and Spanish and finally the full trailer in Spanish. There's an ok Making-of featurette on the fx, it simply shows us how it was originaly shot and how the fx were added... nothing exceptional here. There's a small still gallery with music in the background. Another Making-of has Jaume talking about the idea and premise of the film, interviews with cast and crew, lots of behind the scenes footage and how it was working with kids. We get to see some of the International promotional posters from around the world, the nicest one being from France, Japan and Scandinavia. There is more interviews with the cast, Jaume introduces and alternate credit scenes and 3 deleted scenes. There's a 2 minutes behind the scenes featurette, trailers for other films distributed in Spain by Filmax like RESIDENT EVIL and SECOND NAME. The menus are very impressive, nicely designed with music and sounds. There is also a very nice 24 pages booklet in Spanish and 6 cards very remiscent of the lobby cards from the 70s. The DVDs comes in a keep case with itself comes in a digipack, very beautiful!
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2003. ©
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