Eye For Film >> Movies >> Dark Corners (2006) Film Review
Reviewed by: Tony Sullivan
Every time Susan Hamilton (Thora Birch) falls asleep, she dreams of her twin, Karen Clarke, who lives in macabre alternate world. Even worse than the disturbing nature of these dreams is the fact that a psychopath seems to inhabit both the dream world and the real world, and his path seems to move gradually closer to each woman. Susan and her husband, David (Christien Anholt) have been trying to conceive and medical treatments and psychotherapy seem only to bring her nightmare world to the fore.
Dark Corners is a return to a low-budget European Eighties style of horror film that relies on compelling visuals, plot twists, with a few shocks thrown in. While I’m not going to champion this as a masterpiece of the genre it does make a refreshing change from all the hacked and mangled body parts that seem to be the only requirement for a horror film these days.
Thora Birch is convincing as the two halves of this split personality, her bubbly awake time career woman versus her Goth mortician’s assistant doppelganger. Set in the USA, the film also has a plethora of British actors kitted out with varyingly successful Southern accents which, coupled with UK filming locations, add to the sense of dislocation.
Christien Anholt’s husband just seems too good to be true. Susan’s shrink, Toby Stephens, manifests an oily charm. The Goth world is haunted by cat-eyed children and animated corpses. The killer himself spends his free time eagerly filing his teeth for his next victim. Bizarre clues are peppered throughout the proceedings, particularly the number 618 and if you can figure out where it is all going, well, you’re a better sleuth than I.
The Goth world is peopled with freaks and other eccentrics and reminds one of the black comic tones of Re-Animator. The ‘real’ world is bland and synthetic, and ripe for invasion from the dark. First-time writer/director Ray Gower has done a good job of delineating his two worlds, which pays off in the finale. There are some good shock moments as well as some that are mishandled, notably a scene that seems stolen from An American Werewolf In London. A final jolt would have been nice though.
While far from perfect, I found the film enjoyable. If not a diamond in the rough, then perhaps a crystal in the chaff and worth a rental on a dark and stormy night.Reviewed on: 22 May 2007