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The Darkest Hour

The Darkest Hour: Tame Alien Apocalypse Flick

  • Emile HirschJoel Kinnaman...
  • Action & AdventureHorror...
  • Chris Gorak
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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The Darkest Hour: Tame Alien Apocalypse Flick

Natalie (Thirlby), Anne (Taylor), Sean (Hirsch) and Ben (Minghella) meet
in a bar in Moscow where they’re suddenly bombarded by a downfall of golden,
writhing, glowing orbs raining down on them from the sky. After the initial
feeling of wonder, all hell breaks loose as these aliens vanish and proceed to
stamp out every living thing they can sneak up on. Our four protagonists manage
to outlive the first siege by hiding in a locked room for three days. When
their food, drink and pee bottles run out, they decide to leave the room and
hightail it over to the American embassy for help. Once there, they realize
that the entire world has been affected by this invasion and that the only
known survivors are those in submarines and that a US navy submarine will be
departing from Russia for America the next day. Every minute becomes a fight
for survival as they try to navigate the alien infested city and get to the
submarine without being turned into dust. 

The most surprising thing about this movie is that something so mindless
and mainstream managed to snag a cast of genuinely talented, indie darlings. It
must have been the paychecks and the trip to Russia that sealed the deal
because it definitely wasn’t the script. Within the first five minutes you can
tell exactly how the rest of the film is going to play out; from how the leads
will meet, to who gets with whom right until who’ll make it to the end of the
movie in one piece. In addition, the, very sparse, script has the actors either
spouting some really cheesy lines or pointing out the obvious. Most of the time
though, they’re just running around looking mildly scared, or if you’re Olivia
Thirlby, permanently slack-jawed.

Of course with such a straightforward movie, you can pretty much forget
about suspense; something which is integral to horror. The movie just isn’t
scary. At all. Not to mention the aliens look like something that could have
been on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in
the 90s… In addition, the film is irritatingly dark to the point where this
reviewer found herself frequently taking off her 3D glasses to be able to make
out what was happening on screen.

On the plus side though, the Russians aren’t evil spies for once and we
get to see a tough, patriotic and honourable side of them. Case in point being a
battle squadron composed of Russian survivors, who more or less have a monopoly
on the film’s few interesting fight scenes.

The Darkest Hour is
a waste of a great cast. It’s neither fun nor frightening so if you’re looking
for a horror movie that actually scares or an alien movie with cool aliens, look

Like This? Try

Attack The Block, Cloverfield, War of the Worlds

360 Tip

Production was shut down for two weeks due to forest fires on the outskirts of Moscow.

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