Don’t cry for me, Argentina “ scream!
In this same-name remake of an obscure British psycho-thriller from 1970, two American girls “ straight arrow Stephanie (Amber Heard) and wild child Ellie (Odette Yustman) “ go AWOL from their bike tour through Argentina to explore on their own. The BFFs spend the night at a little village, but miss the last bus out of town the next morning.
After a beachside tiff over boys, Steph pedals off in a huff and Ellie disappears. Literally. Steph contacts the police, but they’re no help, even though another young woman vanished under mysterious circumstances three months prior. Could that local guy Ellie seduced in the bar by dancing to Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself” have something to do with it? Or could it be Michael (Karl Urban), the only guy willing to help?
As the debut feature of director/co-writer Marcos Efron, “Darkness” succeeds in keeping viewers hanging on a string, even if their armpits never quite perspire; this lack of searing tension may be the only reason this well-made movie skipped theaters. Both on-the-rise starlets have considerable screen presence, although when Yustman’s character zips away, so does a good part of the spark.
“Darkness” insults the audience only once, with a flashback during the Big Reveal that’s completely unnecessary, given how much to-do was made about it in the first place. Then again, never underestimate the stupidity of the general public. Whether you need that visual remind or not, this Americans-in-peril pic has enough to offer for a mildly gripping night in.”Rod Lott