In Darkness (Edinburgh International Film Festival Review)

Rating:

Revenge can take years of planning, especially in films. Some scheme take time, others are executed in the heat of the moment. How to add to a twist on a murder mystery/revenge story? You make the main character blind. Adding this character into the middle of someone else’s story makes for an exciting take on the genre. Even better when said blind character has her own agenda.

Natalie Dormer portrays Sofia, a blind piano player whose neighbour dies in suspicious circumstances. She knew the woman, but not intimately but she didn’t see anything, which is the truth. As it transpires the woman who fell to her death was the daughter of a war criminal currently enjoying the hostile and hospitality of the UK, with a very stern Joely Richardson and Ed Skrein at his side.

As psychological thrillers go, this one covers all grounds, building suspense throughout. Sofia can’t see all the danger but we can. There is anticipation about what will happen. The film creates a semi believable scenario involving war criminals, secrets and long planned revenge but the final few minutes of the film, after a gruesome fight, is severely disappointing and really wasn’t needed, especially after Dormer gives a brilliant complex performance as Sofia. But, ignoring this one little detail, the film is a welcome change to the British thriller landscape.

Dir: Anthony Byrne

Scr: Anthony Byrne, Natalie Dormer

Prd: Ben Pugh, Adam Morane-Griffiths, Josh Varney

Cast: Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Brian Donlevy, Jean Wallace

DoP: Si Bell

Music: Niall Byrne

Country: UK, USA

Year: 2018

Run time: 100 minutes