The Darkest Hour
Release Date: April 10, 2012
I love when I’m sitting at my day job and the intercom at my condo rings my cell phone because I know I’m usually going to come home to a new movie to review… either that or I’m coming home to a FedEx slip on the door saying they couldn’t leave it. This time, however, I came home to “The Darkest Hour”, a flick where Emile Hirsch runs around trying escape invisible aliens that vaporize everyone they touch. It’s kind of like if the world was filled with vampires and these aliens were Blade… I guess, but not as good as Blade… in the least bit.
Sean (Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) are on a trip to Moscow to try and pitch their new Social Network app to the Russians for whatever reason, but when they get there some Russian, that they apparently know but it’s never really explained how, stole their idea completely and was selling it off as his own. Rather than get down on themselves they head to a local bar and meet up with an American girl and her friend. After enjoying a couple adult beverages and flirting a bit, the group decides to take a picture, little do they know this is the last time their camera will work. All of the power in the area goes out, including anything running on batteries, basically everything electronic is killed. Naturally when that happens the first instinct is to go outside and see what caused it, because the cause is always right outside the door of the club you’re in… Upon exiting the club they are greeted by floating electrical aliens that immediately vaporize the cop that tries to touch it causing everyone to panic as more people begin to die. Of course out of the hundreds of people at the club and in the streets that night, Sean, Max, their nemesis and the 2 girls they met are the only ones able to survive the deadly club attack of 2011. With no knowledge of the city of Moscow or the aliens they are dealing with, they head out into the city to try to make it home…
I don’t like to spend a lot of time on the actual movie itself since it’s been in theaters already therefore you can find a million reviews of the movie online, but this one was bad. It’s definitely not the worst movie I’ve seen in the last 6-8 months because that title goes to the remake of “The Thing”, but it wasn’t the best. It’s a similar plot to something like “War of the Worlds”, aliens come down and start killing off people so they can harvest Earth for it’s minerals… It’s been done a million times over, but this time it’s aliens we can’t see. So instead of watching some cool badass alien romp around the world eating people or ripping them in half, we get the occasional glimpse of an electronic charge and then the people just turn to dust… not all that exciting to me. If you really want to see this movie then feel free to give it a watch, I’ve heard some people have liked it, but if you’re on the fence and weren’t really sure it was going to be good, don’t waste your time.
In terms of the video and the audio, I really didn’t have any issues here. Most of the movie takes place at night and while some of those night scenes seemed a little washed out, it would have been extremely hard to see anything if they had shown the true nature of what was happening. Since the aliens had taken out all of the electronics it was pitch black throughout the city with only candles and lanterns sometimes being used as a light source. In terms of the audio I thought the mix was pretty good. The soundtrack and the dialogue are mixed well and everything was easily understood. Once the aliens first arrive and start destroying the club I had to jack up the volume to get the full effect, but that was a personal preference and not because of low audio quality.
The Darkest Hour: Survivors is the first of only a few special features and it’s an 8-minute short film that follows other survivors of the initial attack as they work together to figure out how to kill the aliens and restore order to Earth. It was ok I guess. None of the main actors make an appearance so don’t expect that and it jumps around a lot as we follow a few different groups of people across the world. It was a quick watch and if you enjoyed the movie you’ll probably enjoy this little extra.
The Darkest Hour: Visualizing an Invasion is a quick ~12-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that brings us into the world of “The Darkest Hour”. It focuses on the creature design, some pre-visualization and how they setup some of the scenes, etc. It’s your basic, quick behind-the-scenes look at the special effects of a movie with invisible aliens…
Wrapping up the special features is a commentary track with director Chris Gorak as well as a couple extended and delete scenes.
Overall I would suggest not buying this Blu-Ray unless you saw it in the theater and for some reason absolutely loved it. It’s not the greatest movie in the world and I really hope that it doesn’t kill Emile Hirsch’s career, even though I haven’t seen him in much since “Into The Wild”, but he’s a great actor and I’d hate to see this flick ruin his future.