Tuesday, September 3, 2013

DARK CIRCLES leaves you wide awake


Synopsis taken from IMDb
Alex and Penny are sick of the hectic city life and decided a move out to the country to raise their newborn child. But they don't expect the horrors threatening their relationship and family.


Once again, I knew next to nothing about this film before I watched it. I only saw the trailer, that's it. And believe it or not, I'm not one to say this often but, this movie creeped me the hell out! I was both shocked and excited about that. Not too many films generate that type of response from me nowadays.

Alex (Johnathon Schaech) is a man torn with his life. He's being forced into big life choices that he's going to have to live because his partner, Penny (Pell James) is pregnant with their son. We see both that Alex is not happy with the choices that he's allowed himself to make, but also how Penny is worrisome and paranoid. It's the reason she wanted to move in the first place. Alex is just along for the ride, and he's very patient with her. He even leaves his band behind to move away with Penny.

From agreeing to move, we see Alex losing his cool more and more, even though it's within himself. We see him struggle with always biting his tongue or always being picked at. All on top of the fact that he didn't want to move away from his life. He becomes so stressed that he can't even practice on his piano, add to this that he and Penny haven't been sleeping due to the odd hours newborns keep. So the stress factor was really high amongst both lead characters. Now, adding on to all of that, they're both seeing a mysterious woman in their home at random times, in random places.

This film is really smart in the sense that it goes in new directions. Just from what I've described above, most would assume it's going to play out the same way. And that would be that they're going crazy due to lack of sleep and stress. Or, one would assume that it's a ghost and they're so out of reality that they don't know if it's real or not. Rest assure, it's not that simple and easy. It not only makes sense but, it completely plays out and makes total sense.

It's not one of those trippy films that make you lost like the characters are. It keeps you watching with tons of suspense and quick jumps, both of which caused me to check over my shoulder several times throughout the duration of the motion picture. 

The first film that comes to mind when I think of this is 1990's "Stir of Echoes", which I love and consider my favorite horror/thriller. The scenes with the female in Alex and Penny's house will get you good and paranoid, especially if you watch it alone in complete darkness, as I did. Finding out how it all plays out is worth it, and I was extra pleased with the fact that it had a payoff ending.The final shot is a bit slow, but the point is well taken.

The fact that Alex and Penny are so exhausted, and frustrated, and stressed out is really played up to create a claustrophobic atmosphere that will keep you very edgy. This movie is as psychological as it is a haunting film. The twist is great, and reminded me of an episode from the CW's hit series, "Supernatural" that I remember from when I liked the show.

In conclusion, if you're the type of person, like me, who likes watching films that dig inside your brain and get under your skin, then you should watch this. I am really satisfied with this one. It's not cheap looking, it's well shot, and it's a good scary movie. Only faults it has are the acting, and the story. The acting suffers from all ends, but has stand out moments as well, I'll admit that. And the story really is non-existent, because it's simply about a guy and his girl problems, more or less. 

There's no real plot to this film but, somehow it's held together well by the suspense and atmosphere created. 


  1. I'd never even heard of this one, but it sounds good. I'm putting together a stack for October, so I'll have to put my hands on a copy.

    1. It's a really effective film to watch at night. It'll get to ya.

  2. was in two minds about watching this film, might give it a go after reading this review, a really good review!

    1. Thank you! If you do see it, let me know what you think!


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