A group of traveling, American twenty-somethings are in Moscow when all electrical devices short out and mysterious orange ribbons of light begin falling from the sky, splitting into multiple pieces and then becoming invisible once they reach the ground. Possessing intelligence and the ability to see electro-magnetic energy, the invisible creatures begin exterminating all humans in sight.
Soon the hip and attractive actors (Whoops! I mean believable and fully developed hero characters.) are on the run in a post apocalyptic Moscow, trying to survive long enough to see if there is any hope for the human race.
As you may have guessed, I didn't think very much of the acting in this movie. It's not that these actors are necessarily untalented. They just had terrible, obvious dialogue to work with and weren't directed well, as they consistently seemed to be slightly overplaying everything.
If these were stage performances, they might play much better. But on screen it just felt like a lot of actors saying their lines with what they thought were the appropriate mechanical expressions. The only actor that impressed me at all was the "villain", and in "character elimination horror" like this, his time was destined to be short.
The visual effects were solid in most respects, especially compared to the quality of the script. The chief visual gag as the aliens "shred" their victims is actually extremely cool! But not enough to save the film. Not by a long shot.
It's revealing that in the special features it's clear that the filmmakers seemed most focused on creating good special effects on a small budget. But the best small/indie sci-fi flicks give equal or greater attention to script and performances.
It keeps coming back to the dialogue and acting for me, doesn't it? The truth is, I can forgive a lot when it comes to story if the story is told creatively and compellingly. The Darkest Hour does neither, and actually presumes to use the last line of the movie to set up a sequel. (Yikes!)
In addition, when people do not behave like real people and the story is a color by numbers monster survival flick, there's no room left for anything that might stimulate thought about moral or spiritual matters.
If you need to kill time and this one is playing on tv, check it out. Otherwise, make a sharp turn in the opposite direction.
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and some language.
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