AFTER THE DARK

PrintE-mail Written by Dominic Cuthbert

After the Dark

REVIEW: AFTER THE DARK / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JOHN HUDDLES / SCREENPLAY: JOHN HUDDLES / STARRING: JAMES D'ARCY, SOPHIE LOWE, DARYL SABARA, FREDDIE STROMA / RELEASE DATE: JULY 21ST

John Huddles’ After the Dark may sell itself like a sci-fi tinged survival thriller, but really, it’s nothing more than speculation and role-playing, like a drawn-out drama exercise. Like Hot Chocolate’s ubiquitous song, it starts with a kiss. In fact, the keen, stylish plot is bookended by a mawkish love story.

The hypothetical thought experiment, which is an end of term treat from megalomaniacal Mr Zimit (played by James D’Arcy) to his philosophy students, is set exclusively in a classroom and, in that regard, has more in common with Dead Poets Society than 2011's The Divide.

The first iteration of the thought experiment is interesting enough, the second is pushing it, but the heavy-handed liberal third incarnation is simply masturbation. Repetition in movies is often hugely effective (look at this year’s Edge of Tomorrow) but having three goes at the same idea is better explored in the anarchic German flick Run Lola Run.

The apparently gifted students are only able to recite the most basic pop-philosophy which begs the question whether Huddles’ himself was a philosophy student. It’s doubtful, and his Google research shines through in his script.

The visual representation of philosophy conundrums is like taking a peek into Sherlock’s mind palace. Indeed, D’Arcy appears to have modeled his performance on Benedict Cumberbatch. Interestingly enough, D’Arcy has played Holmes in the lukewarm 2002 TV movie Sherlock.

Some of the performances leave a lot to be desired, Bonnie Wright, better known as Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise, doesn’t stretch herself especially far, though Daryl Sabara (all grown up after playing Juni in Spy Kids) is fun as Chips. But it’s D’Arcy who stands out, Cumberbatch aside.

The Jakarta setting is an especially nice touch, and the establishing shots are striking, but even after genre successes like District 9, South Africa remains largely, and sadly, ignored.

The film ultimately suffers from not being nearly as smart as it thinks it is and being too smart for its own good. It does raise one question that has been debated over many pints and coffees in student digs and on the tube; how would you survive if nuclear bombs fell?

Instead of presenting an interesting deconstruction of philosophy, getting to the heart of the subject, exploring class, intellect, gender, sexuality etc. it instead opts to be an underwhelming love story.

After the Dark is another interesting idea undermined by an overly sentimental ending. There is something there, a pervasive tenseness that begs a second viewing, but the film is little more than convoluted romance.



Suggested Articles:
STARBURST readers, because we value the not-inexhaustible time you have to commit to the culture tha
From Star Wars to film-noir to the work of Tim Burton, each owes a debt of some kind to the German e
Released in 1987, around the same time as Dirty Dancing, Luis Valdez's film chronicling the successf
Caradog W. James’ new feature Don’t Knock Twice is an interesting film, but not necessarily for
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

ARMY OF ONE 24 January 2017

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (DAS CABINET DES DR. CALIGARI) 24 January 2017

LA BAMBA - 30TH ANNIVERSARY 21 January 2017

DON'T KNOCK TWICE 20 January 2017

DEAD PIGEON ON BEETHOVEN STREET 15 January 2017

EL SUR 15 January 2017

BODY MELT (1993) 12 January 2017

VALLEY OF THE SASQUATCH 12 January 2017

FIRST MEN IN THE MOON 10 January 2017

SAUSAGE PARTY 09 January 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
 
 
 
 
 
...
 
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144