Dark Places is a film based on novel by Gillian Flynn - one which we haven't read - but is apparently quite popular. In any case, the cast in this film made it one which we were keen to check out, and here it is. So what's the film about then? Read on...
Libby Day (Charlize Theron) was only seven years old when her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. In court, the traumatized child pointed the finger at her brother, Ben (Tye Sheridan), and her testimony put the troubled 16-year-old in prison for life. Twenty-five years later, a broke and desperate Libby has run through donations from a sympathetic public and royalties from her sensational autobiography, without ever moving past the events of that night.
As we mentioned at the top of this review one of the biggest selling points of this film is the wonderful cast which includes Charlize Theron, Christina Hendricks, Nicholas Hoult, and Chloë Grace Moretz. To be honest we found Charlize Theron's character Libby a little sad and mopey. Yes, we know she's had a traumatic experience in her life, but there's just no lighter moments to her character which drags the whole film down in tone. That's not to say her acting is bad though as she puts in a decent performance, and the supporting cast are also impressive with Chloë Grace Moretz impressing us yet again in a much darker role then we normally see from her, despite limited screen time.
Sadly, despite the stellar cast and some solid performances, Dark Places never lives up to its potential with a pretty mediocre story and dull conclusion. If you're a fan of Charlize Theron, or perhaps if you're a fan of the novel, then it's worth checking out (although we can't vouch for accuracy to the novel), but most will find this a pretty mediocre experience.
With Dark Places being such a dialogue driven film there are few moments for this to shine as a great audio experience on Blu-Ray, but the disc still includes a pretty nice lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) track which offers crystal clear sound and with great sound prioritization this is a disc not likely to disappoint. Having said that there really aren't too many opportunities for the disc to impress sonically with no big action pieces, no big musical numbers and few opportunities to push surround sound.
Only one other audio track is an English Audio Descriptive track which is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224kbps. While this isn't a lively film at the best of times, this low bitrate is a disappointment - surely surround sound could still be included to give a bit more life to the experience for those that need a descriptive track. The Blu-Ray contains only a single subtitle track, that being an English Descriptive Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired available through the menu and is accurate to the on-screen dialogue.
Upon starting this disc there are trailers for Self/Less (2:25), Survivor (2:05) and The Gift (2:25). Beyond that, unfortunately, there are no other Extras to add value to the disc.
Review By: Dave Warner