Dark Places | Review

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Is a mystery film based on Gillian Flynn novel and brought to the screen by Gilles Paquet-Brenner. It stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Chloe Grace Moretz, Cory Stoll, Christina Hendricks, Tye Sheridan & Drea De Matteo.

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Premise: A woman who survived the brutal killing of her family as a child is forced to confront the events of that day by a secret society obsessed with solving notorious crimes.

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Review: Dark Places was interesting but not as riveting as I had hoped. I never had a chance to read the book – because the movie came out very early in France – so I watched the film with fresh eyes not knowing what I was in for. Problem solver that I am, I watched the film looking for clues but I fairly quickly had all the right suspects lined up before I even got through a quarter of the movie. I don’t know if it’s a testament to my “mad” deductive skills or a lack of mystery in the story telling. The exact same thing happened to me with Gone Girl – the book – which is why I didn’t finish reading it. I guess I was hopping for more of a challenge with Dark Places, something that would have surprised me at the end.

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Anyway, I still enjoyed the film, particularly how Libby’s past memories were shot. They had an 1980s feel to them, I mean in the quality of the images, they had an old VHS tape look to them. They were grainy and shaky, which also gave them an horror movie vibe, while at the same time illustrating how Libby feels about them.

The film is like the title suggest dark, and I’m not just talking about the murders but the whole context the characters are in. It’s socially realistic, you really feel for the struggling mother (Christina Hendricks) and her kids, the poverty and the hardship of their situation is almost palpable and that’s thanks to Hendricks’ performance. The rest of the cast is good but Christina Hendricks and Corey Stoll stand out and elevate the movie.

So to me Dark Places really depicts how prejudices, despair, and a bunch of white lies can snow ball and change people’s lives forever. It’s definitely not thriller of the year but the film is not boring. What are you thoughts on it?

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