Darkness Falls (1999) Poster

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Not fast moving, but a thriller for the thinking man/woman.
bluerob10 September 2003
Another superb performance from the versatile Mr Winstone in this thrilleresque tale of a man who holds a well off couple as hostage to nobody but themselves. Not your usual tough guy role from Ray - he manages to leave the viewer thinking as to how far off the rails is he going to go. The three main characters (Winstone, Sherilyn Fenn and Tim Dutton) hold your attention throughout the main plot, which mainly occurs in the same room. There is a bit of a sub-plot that doesn't really add to the drama but just makes you ask the question "what's that all about" until all is revealed at the very end. Was obviously filmed on a limited budget but comes across as fairly stylish from an independent film company - possibly running out of the Isle of Mann judging by the location. My only real criticism is that the other "names" in the cast have mere walk on parts that are really no longer than a couple of minutes on the screen. Final summary - well worth watching but don't expect a fast action movie. Sit back and think about it!
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Dark and tense with some great acting, well worth watching!
chaz-1723 November 1998
Darkness Falls, I think that the working title of Dangerous Obsession worked better! With its small budget it lives up to the great tradition of other recent British films, not really in the Cool Britannia market(Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Full Monty) but nonetheless has a lot to offer its audience. A tense thriller which ending leaves you feeling more than satisfied, and some exceptional characters brought to life by experienced and highly talented actors, notably Ray Winstone(Nil by Mouth) and Sherilyn Fenn(Twin Peaks), all together a good watch, highly recommendable.
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One-set thriller is pretty effective.
gridoon21 June 2003
"Darkness Falls" is not the kind of movie that becomes a box-office hit, but if you're patient and give it some time, it may prove to be engrossing enough. The director does a moderately effective job of constantly twisting around our sympathies regarding the three main characters, and of showing how appearances can be deceiving and how a human monster may be hiding behind the facade of normalcy. Kudos, too, to Sherilyn Fenn, who in addition to being perhaps one of the three or four more stunningly beautiful actresses working today, shows that she has also worked on her acting, which has improved considerably. (**)
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Ray Winstone is as ever superb
vengeance-119 April 2002
It's such a shame that only 24 people have voted on this because the people who did vote don't know a fine film when they watch one.

Ray Winstone puts in yet another awesome performance showing a fragile side that he is not noted for. I really can't recommend this film enough and will not go into the plot but just say see this. If you're in the USA it's just getting a release on VHS/DVD, I guess after Sexy Beast people want to see more of Ray.

One of the finest actors in Britain who is now really begining to shine in other countries. Grab any film you can that he's in, you won't regret it. But start at the first, rent "Scum" if you can find it in your local video store (US People) or buy it online..
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Well worth watching
mmcewen-114 October 2007
Low budget flick but satisfying for North American viewers who like/expect the bad guy to get it in the end. Slow moving off the top and obviously adapted from a stage play, which means viewers have to pay attention to the dialog, which may be difficult because of the main character's British accent and soft voice ... just turn on the subtitle option if you have a problem.

I enjoyed watching this character-driven drama on DVD ... I suspect it was intended to go direct to DVD distribution, and not attempt to be a big screen theatrical release. Subtle, psychological, reasonably believable, with adequate acting. Not a must see, more an unexpected treat for people who like this particular genre.
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this movie literally gave me chills
rrnovak13 December 2003
My insomnia came in handy as I watched this movie in the early hours. This is a wonderful movie. It is like watching a play, which I like, so the movie depends upon the quality of the actors. The three main actors were well-cast. The acting of Sherilyn Fenn and Ray Winstone were extraordinary.

The plot gave me chills, especially the ending. The baby was a nice touch, especially with Sally Driscoll holding her, but seeing the conniving husband get his due was the best part.

Okay, so I related to the plot personally. I'm not rich, but I did have a husband who tried to put my house up for collateral for his debts. And he was a womanizer.

This is a movie for our time. It exposes what the modern marriage relationship has become, or can become. I expect that faithless spouses will not like this film and find it unnerving. Spouses on the other side of the coin will be intrigued.
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Better than expected with TWO caveats
artie41219 August 2014
I enjoyed this movie despite two problems:

First, the damned synopsis tells far too much and ruins a nice surprise.

Secondly, I was dissatisfied with the ending. . . you'll see why.

But the acting, and the general story was excellent. I especially appreciated the arc of the Sherilyn Fenn character, and totally believed it! This is rare, as often it is forced. But the circumstances of this story called for it.

Also, Ray Winstone shows his range here (see Sexy Beast for the other end of the spectrum).

Darkness Falls could just as well have been stage play, and a good one at that.

Give it a shot.
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Tries hard to be cool, but ends up looking like Tales of the Unexpected.
jughead-217 November 1998
This had quite a low budget ($3m) and it shows. Right from the wonky opening credits to the ending that comes about an hour too late, the film smacks of amateurism.

The plot is a good idea (man's wife dies in car crash after having an affair. Husband seeks out adulterous bloke who escaped car crash and terrorises him and HIS wife), and the ending is satisfying, if a little obvious.

But, the direction and sets try to look Hitchcockian, but look like a pastiche of late-70's/early-80's tv series, Tales of the Unexpected.

US funded, but British set, this could have been as good an effort as other recent Brit-pics (see Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels). Unfortunately, it's not. Despite, good acting (especially from Ray Winstone) it looks like it was made for TV, and could have easily been fitted into one hour instead of two.
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Tense, Taut, Heavy Drama
cosmicly9 November 2011
Tense, taut, heavy cinema that is not so much a crime drama as a morality tale. Primarily a story about a smug aristocratic type who arrogantly indulges in the seven deadly sins with a sense of impunity--but Judgment Day is coming.

Excellent acting, surgically precise directing, and a relentlessly gripping story. Definitely not light hearted entertainment, but absolutely essential for serious film fans. This dark tale is somewhat relieved, perhaps even redeemed, by the notion that even the most hideous of evils can be miraculously transformed into an affirmation of life, and the ultimate power of goodness and justice.

Wonderfully enhanced by the scenic beauty of the Isle of Man, the gravitas of Ray Winstone, and the classic beauty of the lovely Sherilyn Fenn.
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Overall good story, muddled with dullness
drystyx14 January 2020
This is one of the most predictable movies you will ever see, except for the last 20 minutes or so, which is quite satisfying.

It's a "suspense" film, and the overall story is good, but the writing is horribly inept, as the viewer is relentlessly put to sleep by the tedious dialog.

It's obviously made for two types of spectators. In the movie theater, it's made for the crack head or meth head, or some abuser of drugs, because only someone on serious drugs could stay awake through this ordeal. If one can stay awake, one is rewarded by a decent non-Hollywood ending. This means the ending is meant for the people who don't abuse drugs, but the rest of the movie is meant for the "haters" who do abuse drugs.

In the home viewing, it is meant for "groups of three or more", where two people chat while one keeps up with the story and tells the others, until that one is too bored to go on, then a relay goes into place for the group. This is not uncommon in group viewing, and movie makers know this.

However, it makes for a mediocre movie.

If the dialog was better, if the writing was better, if the movie would be about an hour shorter, it would be a very good movie. The characters are well drawn enough, although the "bad guys" are totally Hollywood caricatures. The "non-bad" characters are three dimensional, however.

Not to say it was a bad movie. Just that it is impossible for a non-drug abuser to sit through this in one entire viewing, so you would be advised to switch to another station for ten minutes or so, about three times in the beginning of the movie, then back, in order to be satisfied. You'll get the picture, and you'll predict exactly what the lead character is up to, withing the first 15 minutes of the movie, in terms of the "money crime", and you'll gather enough to realize what he's up in the "morality crime" soon enough, since that drones on and on throughout the movie.
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Side Note (Production)
aquayle28 September 2008
Though not overly impressed with the movie, I just wanted to add that I was the person who composed the Bank Transfer Animation towards the end of the movie. Done in PowerPoint care of a now defunct company called DataCentre. DataCentre was asked to help with the animation because Bank Transfers aren't normally that exciting. I was taken along to help with a little of the tech stuff and came up with that animation after making a few calls etc. I was just a kid, it was new to me. I like the way the movie is all shot in one place though. It's nice that there are and have been so many movies made on the Isle of Man. It's good that it's getting the exposure it deserves.
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no words to describe
szilveszterdomotor8 May 2019
Well done, I was really supprised how good can be a film which mainly used three actors and one room a randomly found jewel...

true perl
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