Director: Chris Gorak
Writer: Jon Spaihts (Screenplay) Leslie Bohem, M.T. Ahern, Jon Spaihts (Story)
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman, Veronika Vernadskaya
Plot: In Moscow, five young people lead the charge against an alien race who have attacked Earth via our power supply.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Invisible Aliens Attack Again.
Story: The Darkest Hour starts by introducing us to our American’s Sean (Hirsch) and Ben (Minghella) as they head to Moscow for a business trip as they are looking to expand their App. The boys find their idea stolen by Skyler (Kinnaman) so to blow off some steam they head to an elite club. The boys meet fellow American Natalie (Thirlby) and her friend Aussie Anne (Taylor) who enjoy the night out together. The night takes a turn when all the power is lost and these mysterious light clouds descend from the sky dissolving anything they get in contact with. Chaos takes over the streets of Moscow and the four friends find themselves hiding for their lives against an invisible enemy.
Morning comes and the four friends and Skyler seem to be the only survivors of the initial attack and set out to find any other survivors and help. The streets of Moscow are totally abandoned, cars left all over the place and of course the safest way to search the city is in pure daylight where the creatures could find them, you know those invisible ones that they can’t see. When the group finally figure out it will be smarter to travel at night they build a warning device to let them know when the creatures are getting close to them. The group have to find answers and survive in a city where they don’t know the language against an enemy they can’t fight.
The Darkest Hour takes the alien genre and mixes it with a slasher, we get the idea that our main group don’t know where they are either which adds to the horror side of the story. We get to see plenty of terrible decisions being made as always for the genre before we get to meet the traditional generic characters that end up offering nothing new to the genre. On the positive I did like how the aliens did their kills because they are brutal and truly frightening. This ends up being very glossy and could easily be forgotten after seeing what has happened because you don’t really care about the characters. It was nice not seeing purely military trying to stop the aliens and we only see the group trying to survive rather than full fighting. (5/10)
Emile Hirsch: Sean is the slacker of the two guy friends who can put on a good face to sell anything, he takes up the leader role for the group making all the brave decision for the group. Emilie continues to slip away after his impressive outing in Into the Wild. (5/10)
Olivia Thirlby: Natalie is our America tourist who happens to find the guys through their App and along with her friend bump into the guys on a party night. She has to group up with after the attack staying loyal to her friend. Olivia tries her hand in this genre but never really stands out. (5/10)
Max Minghella: Ben is the smart worrying friend who always sees life going one direction and the whole trip things take him outside his comfort zone. Max looks like he should be the main character which is what is surprising what happens to his character. (5/10)
Rachael Taylor: Anne is the Australian friend of Natalie’s who joins in the survival attempts. Racheal is pretty much just a victim in the race for survival and never really gets much time to do anything. (4/10)
Support Cast: The Darkest Hour has supporting cast that is very generic we get the asshole that is with them, we get the crazy local who knows what is going on and we also see the warrior wannabes. They help our characters get to the next chapter of their adventure.
Director Review: Chris Gorak – Chris does a solid job but never takes the film to the next level of originality. (5/10)
Action: The Darkest Hour is filled with chasing and basic weaponry fighting against the aliens but nothing stand out. (5/10)
Horror: The Darkest Hour does actually put us in a horror environment stuck with no way of getting home, lost in a country where they don’t know the language and the brutal alien kills. (8/10)
Sci-Fi: The Darkest Hour uses the alien invasion angle we have seen plenty of times before. (7/10)
Thriller: The Darkest Hour does make you want to know what will happen and how they will escape but you don’t really care which one will die next. (7/10)
Settings: The Darkest Hour uses the Moscow setting with Americans not knowing their way around the city. (8/10)
Special Effects: The Darkest Hour uses good effects with the alien kills even if the final reveal of the aliens is slightly CGI heavy. (7/10)
Suggestion: The Darkest Hour is one for the sci-fi fans to try, it can be enjoyed by all but don’t expect too much. (Try It)
Best Part: Alien kills.
Worst Part: Generic supporting characters.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Similar Too: Vanishing on 7th Street.
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $64.5 Million
Budget: $30 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes
Tagline: Survive The Holidays
Trivia: Production was suspended for a planned two weeks due to the extraordinary air pollution caused by heavy smoke from the wild fires surrounding Moscow in August 2010. It eventually resumed three weeks later. Even with this precaution, smoke still made it into a lot of shots and had to be digitally removed in post production.
Overall: Darkest Hour is very generic but enjoyable sci-fi horror.