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And Soon the Darkness [Blu-ray]

Amber Heard , Odette Annable , Marcos Efron    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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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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Stephanie (Amber Heard) and Ellie's (Odette Yustman) vacation to an exotic village in Argentina is a perfect 'girl's getaway' to bask in the sun, shop and flirt with the handsome locals. After a long night of bar-hopping, the girls get into an argument, and Stephanie heads out alone in the morning to cool off. But when she returns, Ellie has disappeared. Finding signs of a struggle, Stephanie fears the worst, and turns to the police for help. But the local authorities have their hands full already - with a string of unsolved kidnappings targeting young female tourists. Skeptical of the sheriff's competency, she enlists help from Michael (Karl Urban), an American ex-pat staying at their hotel. Together they go on a frantic search for Ellie, but Stephanie soon realizes that trusting his seemingly good intentions may drag her farther from the truth. With danger mounting, and time running out, Stephanie must find her friend before darkness falls.

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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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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pretty Good Little Thriller Dec 9 2010
By Michael B. Druxman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Once it gets going, AND SOON THE DARKNESS is a pretty good little thriller that will have you sitting on the edge-of-your-seat during the last half hour or so.

The film is a remake of a 1970 movie of the same name that starred Pamela Franklin. That picture dealt with two English girls on a bike trip through rural France. In this new version, the girls are American and they are traveling via bicycle in rural Argentina.

Actually, I think that that, as well as some of the girls' other actions, is a pretty stupid thing to do, but in the movies, characters tend to do stupid things.

In any event, the girls have a spat, briefly part company and then one of them (Odette Yustman) disappears. Her friend (Amber Heard) desperately tries to find her, but the town's one police officer is no help and she's not sure if she can trust the lone American (Karl Urban) there, who claims that his girl friend disappeared in this same area three months earlier.

I've never seen the original version of AND SOON THE DARKNESS, so I can't really comment as to which might be better. This one, from director Marcos Efron, might be a bit violent for some people, but others will find it quite entertaining.

And, the Argentina countryside is gorgeous.

© Michael B. Druxman
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amber Heard is One bad A** Chick Dec 28 2010
By Dayna Newman/Slasher Diva - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I really enjoyed "And Soon The Darkness".
I heard such negative things and read negative reviews saying it was boring and all been done before.
I'm going to have to disagree.I thought the acting was really good,the character development above par for this type of film and it kept you guessing .It was a little slow to start but not at all boring,the great acting beautiful scenery and colorful characters kept you entertained.

When it really jump started it was full speed ahead, bringing on the Bad a** chick scenario which I love.Amber Heard was excellent as Stephanie an American tourist in Argentina who ends up fighting for hers and the life of her girl friend Ellie played by Odette Yustman like a wildcat in a corner through the last 30 minutes of this movie.I won't call this Horror but an action ,suspense,thriller with some mystery thrown in..

There was no gore ,there were some kills but nothing horror worthy.It was a really good I made a mistake going out of my country flick ..The ending is pleasing as is the entire movie.With all the trash you find these days it's nice to find a movie with good acting a great cast and a well executed storyline.. I give it 2 thumbs up.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Moderately Creepy Thriller Jan. 8 2011
By Cory T. Shaeffer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Well, this movie is a remake, and the plot is quite familiar: Two young American women go vacationing in Argentina to get away from it all. After a night of drinking (predictably), one of the girls (played by Odette Yustman) gets mixed up with a violent, suspicious male. The next morning, the two girls get into an argument, and go their separate ways. When the other girl (played by Amber Heard) returns, her friend is gone.

The police become involved, but of course they don't know much and are very little help. There is an American male who is also searching for his girlfriend, and he helps search for the missing girl. Predictably, people are not who they seem. There are some twists, and the scenery is visually stunning - but what really gives the film an edge is the exceptionally strong performance by Amber Heard. In a breakout performance, she manages to make the film tense and fast-paced all by herself. The story has been done ten thousand times before, but it would be hard to argue that any performance by a female lead in any of those other films were as strong as Heard's performance in this one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Not so dumb blond March 21 2011
By David Santos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Amber Heard plays a girl with no quit in her, its nice to see blondes being the smart ones in film for a change. Odette is beautiful too. Its not a horror film, its more of just a thriller.

Funny thing though. The girls had trouble finding hotels and other spots, but found the club pretty quickly.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ho Hum Jan. 3 2011
By Eric Sanberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I have not seen the original but it seems to be in big favor with many viewers. And as Hollywood figured to re-make it, it must have been good. Unfortunately, the re-make isn't really all that hot.

In a nutshell: Two girls are on a biking excursion in Argentina. A minor argument ensues one day and the two take a few hours off from each others' company. Problem is that one of them disappears and may be another victim in a spate of local kidnappings. The other hooks up with an American who happens to be staying at the same hotel and the two set to see what they can see.

From what I understand of the original, which was set in the French countryside, it's power derived from it's ability to take a serene countryside setting, in broad daylight, and infuse it with a sense of menace. In this version, most of the shots of the countryside look really beautiful and actually provide a respite from the uneasiness caused by the fact that you have two young girls, traveling alone in, what we consider, a third world country, working under a language barrier.

This movie is so-so. For my dollar it took way too long to get to the heart of the matter. My guess is it's a good 45 minutes before the actual kidnapping occurs. And when it finally does occur the attempts at finding our victim are rather tepid. As a matter of fact, the break comes due to happenstance and not to any clever detective work. Another problem is that some of the promo copy intones that Karl Urban's character might not be the good guy he appears to be. If this is so, it is also handled poorly. Whatever questions the viewer might have about his motives are swept away rather quickly.

Then there are the two female leads. The performances are not particularly great. And seeing Amber Heard's Stephanie get the jump on her friend's two captors did little to convince me she could or would do it. I simply didn't believe it and that is a problem at the script level.

Like I said, this is a so-so movie. It isn't bad, but it's made me want to check out the original to see what intrigued the producers so much the saw the need to screw it up.
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