Fantasia 2015: Dark Places (2015) Movie Review



Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner Written by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, Gillian Flynn (novel)
Starring Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Chrstina Hendricks, Corey Stoll, Tye Sheridan, Chloë Grace Moretz

113 mins - Thriller | Crime | Mystery - Release date: 7 August 2015

Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s (Walled In) Dark Places screened at Fantasia 2015 in Montreal last night, and it was superb. The story is well-crafted, and Charlize Theron carried the weight of this movie on her Herculean-like shoulders. Her performance is so compelling that you just want to watch her character (Libby Day) to find out what she’s going to do next.

Of course, the movie was about Libby and her reluctant quest for the truth of her family’s murder 30 years ago, so that helps keep our attention locked on her. However, Theron wasn’t alone for great performances: mentions have to be given to Christina Hendricks (Patty Day), Corey Stoll (Ben Day), Tye Sheridan (young Ben Day), and Chloë Grace Moretz. All of them great pleasures to watch in Dark Places.

Not a horror (although, horrific in terms of human emotional suffering) or a slasher or a bloody mess by any stretch of the imagination, Dark Places is a haunting crime drama/mystery. As mentioned, Theron’s character is all but thrust onto the search for the truth surrounding her family’s murder, but in the end it’s her truth and purpose that she finds. The story is as much about her overcoming her own demons as it is about uncovering the truth about her brother, who’s been incarcerated for the murders for the past 30 years.

Dark Places will open to theaters on August 7, 2015.

The Verdict:

It might have been the twisted humor of the Fantasia audience, but there were dashes of dry and dark humor sprinkled throughout Dark Places. However, none of it was a distraction from the truly captivating story and expertly performed characters. The movie doesn’t miss a beat or a moment to advance itself. There’s never a dry, lingering scene that you wish would end. So, if you enjoy crime dramas and mysteries, you owe it to yourself to see this one.

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