One of the most popular descriptions of today’s thrillers has to be “mind fuck” and when it comes to The Dark Hours, you’re brain will most certainly receive a backseat workout. This is the kind of movie you rent alongside your gore films so the wife won’t feel stiffed. Just pretend not to like it or she’ll know it was for you all along!
Dr. Samantha Goodman (Kate Greenhouse) is a psychiatrist and a damn good one. Though she tends to be a bit too emotionally detached from her patients, she feels she’s helping them to become better people…even if that means antagonizing them, denying their release, sedating and isolating them.
Sam’s life takes a turn for the worse though when she finds the tumor in her head, which she’s known about for years, has grown twice its original size. She’s given a year to live so she convinces David (Gordon Currie), her husband, and younger sister Melody (Iris Graham) to head up to the cabin for the weekend in order to relax and, of course, break the horrible news.
Their peaceful night is shattered though when they take in a young stranger named Adrian (Dov Tiefenbach) who promptly turns on them and blows the family dog’s brains all over the hardwood floor. He then holds the Family at gun point until the true mastermind behind this horror arrives…Harlan Pyne (Aidan Devine).
Seems Harlan was a patient of Sam’s; a violent sex offender still disgruntled over his treatment at the hands of Samantha. He believes her experimentation caused him to go into a coma and he’s determined to not only force her to reveal the truth of her wrong doing but to also force the whole Family into a deadly game of truth or dare. In this case, a dare means something may end up chopped off.
The night becomes a terrifying excursion into a sick mind and the inhumanity created by those charged with mental health care and criminal rehabilitation.
Man, I was so blown away by how wonderful this film was I found myself staring at the wall and smiling for a good ten minutes after the movie ended. Though you may spot the “twist” by the middle of this film, getting there is extremely fun.
At times I found it hard to sympathize with Dr. Samantha Goodman but ultimately you end up really feeling the terror the whole Family feels while being abused and violated by Harlan. I almost covered my eyes when I saw the gun being leveled to the dog’s head.
I have to say that I’m really confused as to why this never made it to theaters. I feel this film is just as solid as any other thriller that’s come out recently. Fact is…this definitely stands eye to eye with films like The Butterfly Effect and Stay. Actually, if you were one of those people that felt The Skeleton Key was an enormous waste of your time and money (like me) than you’ll be able to fully appreciate The Dark Hours and its original story.
The dialogue is this film was really solid stuff and there’s quite a bit of the red stuff for those of you that need a bit o’ blood to turn that frown upside down.
As with all movies though, there’s always a downside and that would be the occasional shifts in reality. If you aren’t paying attention, you may get thrown for a loop and find yourself back tracking. Don’t mistake that to mean it’s confusing; there are just clues that need to be seen the first time in order to understand what’s going on later.
I highly recommend this film to those of you out there looking for a body slam thriller that doesn’t depend on tons of editing tricks or multi-million dollar actors to cover for a lack of story. There’s a solid story, acting, dialogue and conclusion here that will keep you guessing till the very end.