Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Darkest Hour

After traveling to Moscow only to get screwed out of a lucrative business opportunity Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) run into an attractive American twenty-something (Olivia Thirlby) and her Australian friend (Rachael Taylor) at a swanky Russian bar just hours before the Earth finds itself invaded by aliens seeking to drain all electric conducting minerals from the planet.

The aliens appear as near invisible glowing clouds of light which can instantly burn through and disintegrate matter on contact. The foursome find themselves stuck in the storeroom of the club for days with the Swedish businessman (Joel Kinnaman) who screwed them over. With their rations exhausted finally the five journey out into a world vastly changed from the one they left only a few days before. Can they make it to safety? Will they find a way to fight back? Which ones will die? If only we cared.

Traveling only at night and carrying various elecronic devices which give away the closeness of the aliens, the group attempts to stay alive while crossing the near deserted streets of Moscow where they meet a group of street warriors (Yuriy KutsenkoNikolay EfremovGeorgiy Gromov, Artur Smolyaninov), a mad Russian inventor (Dato Bakhtadze) and a teenage girl (Veronika Ozerova).

For a horror movie the film is pretty basic, relying far too much on coincidence and characters continually acting stupid when the movie decides it needs to kill one of them off. Casting well-known young actors with no experience in the genre is an interesting choice, but the script doesn't give us any real reason to root for them. With forgettable characters and average (at best) stunt sequences and effects, The Darkest Hour doesn't really have anything to hang its hat on.

The design of the aliens is intriguing, but goes nowhere. They seem like forces of nature just out to destroy, but by giving them a larger plan (which is nearly impossible for them to carry out since they are little more than balls of gas and gears) the story opens up several new plot threads it has no intention of investigating.

Extras include a short film featuring other survivors fight off the aliens, audio commentary by director Chris Gorak, a behind-the-scenes featurette on the film's special effects, deleted and extended scenes (with optional director commentary).

[Summit Entertainment, Blu-ray $30.49 / 3D Blu-ray $34.99 / DVD $26.99]/ DVD $26.99]

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