Dark Places


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Dark Places
"Charlize Theron is electrifying"

Notoriety cuts the girl down and as a woman she is angry.

Sole survivor of a family massacre, after which her teenage brother is arrested and jailed for life, Libby Day knows that it was her evidence as an eight-year-old that condemned him. Now she wants to find out the truth of what really happened that night in the farmhouse when her sisters and mother were shot to death and she escaped by hiding in a barn.

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It has been 28 years since the murders that captivated a nation. Libby wrote a book about it which became a best seller, resulting in celebrity of a macabre kind. Still people wonder why her brother never filed for an appeal. If he was innocent he would have done so, surely?

Libby is approached by a member of The Kill Club, a group of young enthusiastic miscarriage-of-justice amateur sleuths, and, contrary to her paranoid, reclusive nature, agrees to unlock the secrets of the past. Or, at least, try.

Writer/director Gilles Paquet-Brenner uses a sophisticated flashback technique to hint at what might have gone down, intercepting the story flow with snatched memories from that night. The horror element is less intrusive than the who of whodunit.

Ultimately the plot implodes. There are too many inconsistencies and credibility flaws. However, Charlize Theron as Libby is electrifying. Her repressed energy is like a ticking time bomb. In jeans, T-shirt and baseball cap she looks like a contender and performs with steely conviction. Simply watching her, as this woman who hates to be touched, is to feel the desolation of those dark places.

Reviewed on: 09 Feb 2016
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A woman revisits the crime that killed her family.
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Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner

Writer: Gilles Paquet-Brenner, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn

Starring: Charlize Theron, Sterling Jerins, Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks, Tye Sheridan, Corey Stoll, Chloë Grace Moretz, Andrea Roth, Sean Bridgers, Natalie Precht, Madison McGuire

Year: 2015

Runtime: 113 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK, France, US


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