Film Review: Dark Places

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

On Wednesday I was able to see the pre-screening of Dark Places. My interest in seeing the film was two-fold: I was keen to see fellow South African Charlize Theron in her lead role, and I was excited to see the work of my stepson, Shannon Kook. We arrived early and were led to our reserved seats after we had bought the mandatory butter popcorn. I could not wait for the film to start as I had heard so much about the film from Shannon.

The film is based on the book by Gillian Flynn. The story is about a woman Libby (played by Charlize Theron) who faces a traumatic experience from her past: the murder of her mother and two sisters. As a young child of eight, she testifies against her brother, Ben, resulting in his jail sentence. As an adult, with the encouragement of a group killed “The Kill Club”, Libby digs into her past to uncover the events as they happened – events she had been unaware of as a child.

As expected, Charlize Theron plays her part well. In the beginning, I sense the character’s boredom with the events of her past. However as her search into the past uncovers unexpected events, her interest becomes less blasé. The other cast members (Chloe Grace Moretz and Tye Sheridan) were also believable in their roles. My interest in the film sharpened, of course, when Shannon Kook came on screen.

Shannon Kook with Tye Sheridan and Chloe Grace Moretz.

Shannon was certainly believable in this role – which was different from the those I had seen him in before. In this role he portrays a character with a dark side to him. My only wish is that the character was developed a little more in the film as young Trey was certainly interesting. According to those who have read the book, Flynn did develop his story in her tale. As the film deviated a little from what had been written in the original story, many of the questions the viewer could have asked remained unasked.

Did I enjoy the film Dark Places? Yes, I did. And I would recommend seeing it to those who enjoy watching something that makes them think a little. It is not a film full of action, nor is it one that requires a box of Kleenex to be nearby. Instead the viewer needs to be able to move from one time frame to another.

Have you seen the film Dark Places?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015