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Parents' Guide to


By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Haunted house horror has violence, jump scares, trauma.

Movie PG-13 2004 88 minutes
Darkness movie poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This haunted house horror has all the ingredients for a decent supernatural thriller but ends up overcooking all of them. Even if you can forgive Darkness' hokey premise and the horror movie cliches hiding behind every slammed door, it's unlikely that most viewers will have the patience for its brief but uneven story. Paquin is a reliable lead, starring as keen-eyed daughter Regina. But the writers don't seem to notice that the character with the most going on is her father, Mark. This leaves Iain Glen thrashing about on the sidelines as the troubled patriarch. Likewise, Mark's relationship with his father, Albert (Giancarlo Giannini), appears to hold the key to unlocking the movie's mystery. But this is quickly buried beneath a landslide of deafening musical cues and sub-Shining tearing around the house.

Richter-scale troubling levels of shakey-cam footage only create a finale that's as rushed as it is confusing. It's almost as though the creators of this unholy mess were seemingly keen to sacrifice more than just their characters to wrap things up and forget it ever happened.

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