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Dec262011

'The Darkest Hour' reviews suggest the worst for this alien invasion flick

The Darkest Hour, the latest in a long line of alien invasion movies, opened on Christmas day to a host of poor reviews. Following a promising-looking trailer and scripted by Jon Spaiht, whose next project is none other than Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, The Darkest Hour looked set to deliver one of the best movies of a well-worked genre to date. Sadly it seems this particular invasion may have crashed and burned.

The movie follows two Americans in Moscow, who are hitting on a couple of female tourists when the entire city is hit by a blackout. Invisible aliens, who only appear as whisps of light when they attack, descend on the city, turning all living organisms to ash instantly at the slightest touch. Cue a retreat and eventual fightback from the young protagonists. It’s sounds like a good movie, the trailer made it look like a good movie, however, The Hollywood Reporter describes it as such:

“An alien invasion flick that evidently expects dramatic shots of a depopulated Red Square to make up for a flatlining screenplay and the absence of even a single compelling character.”

Ouch! A similar lack of enthusiasm was shown by horror-based website Fearnet:

The story, the characters, the logic, the energy, the fun, takes a backseat to one tiresome display of digital gimmickry. The painfully amateurish The Darkest Hour throws us two American idiots in Moscow, an interstellar invasion by invisible, yes invisible, aliens, and 89 minutes of ponderous, lethargic, aimless nothingness.

Now I like to stay optimistic regardless of other peoples opinions. I saw the trailer and it looked really good! But it’s hard to imagine a decent movie would garner such harsh criticism. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Fearnet concludes its review with:

Paced like a punishment, cobbled together with outrageously tiresome ideas and people, and truly amateurish in some spots (the thing feels like it was edited with a lawn mower), The Darkest Hour is nowhere near good, not remotely interesting enough to be worthy of mockery, and a miserable time-waste for all involved.

A shame. Despite being one of the lesser-known Christmas releases (certainly if put up against the likes of Mission Impossible, Tintinand Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), The Darkest Hour was a film I was really looking forward to seeing. I’m sure a couple of bad reviews won’t stop me giving it a go when released on rental, but in the meantime there are too many good big-screen movies around to risk spending my cash on this seemingly cobbled together alien disaster. 

Have you seen The Darkest Hour? Was it worth your money? With a 9th place opening of $3 million in 2,324 theaters, the film has made back only about 10 percent of its $30 million budget. With numbers like these, even Summit Entertainment (studio) probably wants its money back. 

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