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Directed by Jaume Balaguero.
Written by Jaume Balaguero, Fernando de Felipe and Miguel Tejada-Flores.
Starring Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen and Giancarlo Giannini. 
Release Year:  2002
Review Date:  1/6/05


What a fucking piece of dogshit!

When "Darkness", a thriller made a couple years ago that was unleashed upon the general public over the just-past Christmas holiday, was over, my friend Ross, his girl Anne and I were all just stunned.  This is mostly because we couldn't think of enough profanities to yell at the credits when this flaming piece of cow dung was over.

I'm not even going to cover why this is absolute dogshit, but I do know this--someone has GOT TO FUCKING STOP THE MADNESS of all of these PG-13 spookfests from destroying the once-proud horror genre.  I actually miss the "Friday the 13th" movies now, because at least some of those films were scary; man, with the sequel to "The Ring" on the way soon, it's like it will never stop!  Please, someone take the director's chair away from M. Night Shyamalan, who made the shitty "The Village" and seems destined to leave his mark on film as "the Indian guy from Pennsylvania that destroyed horror films by directing 'The Sixth Sense.'"  Please, someone, get to Buffy before she makes "The Grudge 2"!!!  Please, someone stop the Japanese from continuing to import this genre to the States, where all studios do is rip them off!

Man, I still sit here and rue the day that somebody over at the MPAA dropped the PG-13 on us; it's made everyone and everything it touches a real softee.  Barbarian movies used to be tough; now, they're fancy and bloodless.  Action movies used to have characters that spouted off about everything, in every lingual sense, they're like a prime-time TV show with an occasional gun battle.  R-rated comedies like "Caddyshack" or "Stripes" or "Beverly Hills Cop" are mostly gone (save for the occasional "Old School"), but in their stead we get comedies like "White Chicks", or "Scary Movie 3", or anything with Adam Sandler, movies that might be good if they allowed for more f-bombs or gratuitous taddies...but they don't, so we get a watered-down farting joke or a tame, James Bond-ian double entendre to fill the gap.

Fuck you, PG-13, fuck you!

And, that's one of many reasons why "Darkness" sucks--in the long-and-getting-longer line of these just barely-scary flicks, the story blows, the acting blows, the scares don't scare and the ending is so bad you flirt with the idea of killing yourself to end the pain.  I still don't get what happened with the haunted house that seemed to kill some inhabitants but not others...but, while I was watching, I also didn't get what made Anna Paquin sign on to do this film.  She MUST have read this script and said to her agent, "Get me in this film!", which is stunning, because from the story, to the atmosphere, to the direction, to the overall execution, "Darkness" has no idea how to do what it needs to do to entertain.

I used to like shitty movies, but moments like this are not easy to palate.  Fucking shitty-ass shit shit!

Rating:  Hard Vice


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09