Movie Review: ‘DARK PLACES’ – Better Than The Bad Rep It’s Getting


Susan Kamyab // Contributing Writer

DARK PLACES | 113 min | R
Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks, Corey Stoll, Tye Sheridan and Chloë Grace Moretz

DARK PLACES marks the second film adaptation of a Gillian Flynn novel. And no, it’s not a GONE GIRL sequel. This film just proves once again that Flynn knows how to capture her audience with intricate story-lines that keep you on the edge of your seat.

Charlize Theron plays Libby Day, whose mother (Christina Hendricks) and two sisters (Natalie Precht and Madison McGuire) were brutally murdered in their farmhouse when she was only seven years old. In the chaos of things, Libby claimed she saw her disturbed, teenage bother (Tye Sheridan) kill her family, putting him in jail. Since the murders, Libby has been living off money sent from people who felt sorry for her and the profits made from her tell-all novel.

25 years later, her cash begins to die down. Just when she thinks she has nothing left, she’s approached by a group of people wanting to know what happened on that fateful night. They’re willing to pay her if she will open up about the details and visit her brother (now played by Corey Stoll), w hom they believe is innocent in prison. As Libby starts to retrace the events that led up to that evening, she begins to question her own memories.

Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron team up again for DARK PLACES. Photo courtesy of A24.

Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron team up again for DARK PLACES. Photo courtesy of A24.

I’m not quite sure why this film is getting such a bad rep. Obviously, it’s not on the same level as GONE GIRL, and I don’t expect any nominations for the upcoming award season. But do expect to be entertained, if you allow yourself.

DARK PLACES is an exciting mystery that stays interesting throughout the entire film. And what movie-goers can appreciate is the fact that there aren’t any loose ends. Often times a detailed mystery can leave a few holes in their story to wrap up an already dragged out movie.

With its talented, all-star cast and spellbinding story, DARK PLACES makes for a solid mystery and thriller that will surely have audiences guessing till the very end.

DARK PLACES opens in theaters today, or you can rent the movie below.

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