Film Review – The Darkest Hour

The Darkest Hour (M)

Directed by: Chris Gorak

Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor

Two stars

Review by: Julian Wright

You may raise an eyebrow at the generous two stars given to what is already one of the most unfavourably reviewed films of 2012. Admittedly, we are still in the very early stages of the new year, but The Darkest Hour will undoubtedly stick in our memories until the end for all the wrong reasons. And yet, while it deserves its spot as one of the worst films of the last 10 years, sitting nicely alongside The Room, it was a hoot.

Just hours after two young software inventors Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) touchdown in Moscow on a business trip, they are thrown together with a couple of tourists Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor) and a dodgy Russian businessman when invisible aliens invade.

After spending four days locked up in a heavily stocked nightclub storeroom during the initial attack, where they eat all the food and emerge with coiffed hair, they find themselves running around the abandoned streets of Moscow looking for anyone who may have survived. The two survivors they do find, a young woman and mad scientist type,  have admirable adaptation skills. In less than a week, they have already managed to figure out how to evade the aliens and build a special home-made gun to kill them.

With dreadful dialogue like “I keep my freak-out on the inside”, illogical scenes like when the group fall off a boat and one ends up miles away from all the others in the blink of an eye, and misjudged moments such as when the characters run around with light bulbs around their necks, this is certainly not high brow entertainment.

So why two whole stars? Because it is hilariously dreadful. I haven’t laughed so consistently at the cinema in a while. This is the kind of film that makes you laugh more than many supposed comedies. This is the kind of film that gains a cult following and screens at midnight where the audience is invited to throw things at the screen.

This horrible film already has a secure place on my worst of 2012 list, but just you wait for the DVD where you can watch it with a bunch of your mates and make a drinking game where you take a shot  every time there is a dumb moment, like bad CGI, when the girls run in heels, or when the invisible aliens are clearly visible. But then again, you may end up having your stomach pumped.

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