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And Soon the Darkness

Amber Heard , Odette Annable , Marcos Efron    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 31.98
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And Soon the Darkness + Doom (Unrated Extended Edition) (Bilingual)
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Lesson from And Soon the Darkness: don't miss the last bus out of the small town in Argentina where you've stopped for the night on your cross-country bicycling tour. Especially if you are two nubile young women on your own. Actually, there are many lessons to be learned in this movie, which hews closer to the twisty suspense of A Perfect Getaway than the hardcore travel-torture action of Hostel. Amber Heard and Odette Yustman star as the gadabout gals, partying a little too heartily and sleeping in past their departure date in a tiny village full of vaguely shady characters. Karl Urban (Star Trek) is also loitering around the town, an actor who brings a useful quality of "is he a good guy or a possible killer?" to the proceedings. Director Marcos Efron can find no way of making the behavior of the characters even marginally believable, either as real people or as movie types we might reasonably want to accept as figures in a cautionary tale. They're just dumb. The movie's pictorial qualities are pretty enough, as the countryside of Argentina looks fairly spectacular and Heard and Yustman find excuses to sunbathe in their bikinis. Amber Heard (Zombieland, Pineapple Express) definitely has something, leading lady-wise, but a movie this single-note is not the way to explore whatever that is. For the record, it's a remake of a 1970 British film, where the travelers were lost in the wilds of France. --Robert Horton

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old story but a good story, gorgeous blu-ray. Jan. 6 2011
Format:Blu-ray
You don't always have to tell an original story to be entertaining. As a matter of fact, I would guess it is pretty damn rare to find an original story nowadays, I think all stories are probably based somewhere in a story before it. A story you have heard before is still a good story as long as it is told in an interesting way. I say all of this because it directly applies to And Soon the Darkness, a new film from Anchor Bay.

And Soon the Darkness is the story of Stephanie (Amber Heard) and Ellie (Odette Yustman), two girls on a bike trip in Argentina who decide to take their own trip when their bike troupe trip gets boring. When Ellie goes missing after the two girls have a fight and separate, Stephanie must join an American stranger (Karl Urban) to find her. Now the story here is familiar, dumbass tourists do dumbass things in a foreign country and are left to the mercy of the crazy locals. But Darkness does not take that typical approach, and actually portrays its two female leads as realistic strong women who just happen to have made some bad decisions. The photography in the film is beautiful, having been filmed on location in Argentina, and the debut direction by Marcos Efron (no relation to Zac) is fluid and well done. The script is nothing stupendous, but it is well written and does not give in to many of the genre cliché's that it could have.

Many films of this type instantly get swept under the rug before anyone sees them, like the excellent Turistas, The Ruins, Perfect Getaway. Even the Hills Have Eyes and The Descent fall into the category and were not given the credit they deserve. And Soon the Darkness can proudly be listed among them, even if it isn't quite as good.
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