Oh how Gone Girl raised the bar for so many film makers out there, amateur and professional alike, and oh how the distributors of Dark Places aren’t afraid to slap that over the advertisements; trailers and posters alike! “Gillian Flynn” – One name that’ll add an extra few million dollars to your box office earnings…

The story of Dark Places revolves around the ghosts of Libby’s (Charlize Theron) past trauma’s surfacing as she’s forced to revisit the scene of a brutal crime she left dead in her memories. With the help of Lyle (Nicholas Hoult,) the ringleader of “The Kill Club,” a group of people with a niche interest, she begins to investigate her past and discovers truths uncovered.

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The film certainly attempts to go down the road the title suggests, even though Satanism isn’t necessarily the bloodshed, rampage, rape asunder of how it’s depicted in the movies, it makes sense to portray it such a way as it makes for a more interesting viewing no matter who the viewer is.
And in Dark Places the devils hands have most certainly been busy.

With such an A list cast the acting doesn’t even come into question, as always, they perform as expected. It’s almost as if they tried to jump on the gravy train that is “Gillian Flynn’s” next big hit and ride it as hard as they can. This isn’t to say I don’t like her stories, it’s evident that she’s finely tuned in her craft, but you have to wonder if her already declining in quality, penned transitions to film makes her a one hit wonder, or maybe something simply got lost in the translation.

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The constant barrage of flashbacks distract from the plunge you want to take into these characters, although necessary, a different approach may have made for a greater impact; it feels as if those analeptic warps in time were wholly meant for the novel and doesn’t quite reach the bar it strives for in a visual medium.

There is, however, a most certain feel of a twist brewing and in typical fashion, our author doesn’t disappoint. Dark Places may not have the teeth of its predecessor but it’s still a solid entry into the genre.

3/5

Dir: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Scr: Gillian Flynn, Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Chloe Grace Moretz
Prd: Laurence Bennett
DOP: Barry Ackroyd
Music: BT, Gregory Tripi
Country: USA
Year: 2015
Run Time: 113 mins

Dark Places is available on DVD now.