Dark Places Review


  • We have a rarity on today’s review folks!
  • Typically I try to stay away from reading books before the movie comes out, that way I can judge the movie on its own for the film.
  • Last year I read Gone Girl only after I had seen the movie, but in this case I had read the book beforehand…
  • I’ll try not to make any comparisons between the two though. The Dark Places book I really did enjoy and thought it was cool and suspenseful.
  • As a movie? It was BOOORRRRRRRRING.

  • Dark Places is the newest film adaptation of a Gillian Flynn novel. Gillian Flynn wrote the Gone Girl book and screenplay, but she only wrote the book for this one.
  • And Dark Places is centered around this woman named Libby Day, played by Charlize Theron. Libby’s one claim to fame is that when she was about 7 or 8 years old, her mom and two sisters were murdered by her older brother Ben. She then testified against Ben and got him sentenced to life in prison.
  • But then in the present day, Nicholas Hoult’s character shows that may not be exactly how it happened… And then we have our movie!
  • Our generic, boring, and uninteresting movie…
  • So let’s start off with the actors on this one because you have a real A-list cast!
  • Charlize Theron as Libby. Her performance was okay half of the time, but there was another half of the time were it felt like she was phoning it in. Her character is supposed to be ironically unlikable, but there were times it just felt like Charlize Theron just didn’t care about what was going on.
  • Nicholas Hoult was phoning in a lot of his performance too. His character is this guy Lyle who’s really fascinated by what happened to Libby and the tragedy as a whole. But his character felt one-dimensional, it was like there wasn’t anything to him besides that.
  • Corey Stoll was in the movie too as Ben, the alleged killer on death row. He was okay, but all of his lines were cliché beyond belief, making his character just feel hollow. “You’re just as imprisoned as I am!”
  • I’ll say this. Tye Sheridan plays young Ben, young Corey Stoll, and he was good. At first, it doesn’t feel like he’s giving you much to like but Tye Sheridan has the character and the performance that you enjoy the most by the end of the movie. And I wished we saw him feel more connected to Corey Stoll, but the two felt like two completely different characters.
  • Chloe Grace Moretz is in the movie too, and she was supposed to be the love interest of young Ben. I appreciated her character, but she felt one-dimensional too, and the acting just wasn’t there for the character. When I first heard that Chloe Grace Moretz was playing Diondra in the movie (because I was a fan of the book), I thought that was perfect! She could capture this element of craziness to her, but also seductiveness. Kinda like Harley Quinn to an extent. But they just don’t, she isn’t a developed character…
  • In addition to that development, there’s a lot of characters that just felt thrown in the movie for now good reason. Like, I understand why you would need Libby’s dad in there, but he felt completely unnecessary from a film standpoint.
  • I’ll compare this movie to Gone Girl a little bit, because they both come from related source material.
  • In Gone Girl, there were a TON of characters, but they all felt relevant because each actor gave a good performance and each character was introduced at a reasonable pace and stayed on for a reasonable amount of time. You understood who was most important, sure, but every character felt like they had a legit reason to be there.
  • This movie just threw characters from the book on screen and hoped the book fans would be happy.
  • If I’m a movie-goer who hadn’t read the book, I’d have no idea what was going on for this entire movie!!!! And that my friends, is just simply awful writing.
  • Sometimes it could hurt a movie for the book’s writer to adapt the screenplay, but it really worked for Gone Girl. Gillian Flynn knew what she wanted to change and make more accessible for the big screen.
  • This felt like the writer just copied and pasted lines and scenes from the book onto the screen.
  • Nothing felt original, nothing had any big-screen potential. At the end of the day, this felt like it was a made-for-TV movie.
  • Any time I see a movie that was adapted from a book I read, I love seeing how the director makes the book scenes more magical and different from the book. When I saw the first Harry Potter movie, the Common Room and Great Hall looked nothing like what I thought the Common Room and Great Hall would look like.
  • In Dark Places, the sets were exactly how I pictured them, if not worse. It just felt so generic.
  • That’s the word for this movie, and especially its direction. Generic.
  • There was nothing in this movie that felt special. There was nothing in this movie that felt imaginative or original.
  • The actors were all phoning it, the writing was just garbled and boring, the direction had no vision and was the definition of generic.
  • Guys, I REALLY want to say this one is Unwatchable, but Tye Sheridan was pretty serviceable in the movie, and despite the boringness, I’m sure that book fans won’t mind as much…
  • But I will still say that Dark Places is Pretty Fricken’ Terrible and It’s DEFINITELY Not Worth Your Time.


So guys, those are my thoughts on Dark Places! What are your thoughts on this movie if you’ve seen it yet? Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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