Dark City

7 out of 10
 

 

Really Creepy

I think therefore I am. But were you yesterday? Does the Bayshore Mall exist? Obviously so? Then prove it! If someone tampered with your memory overnight what proof have you other than hearsay? The mark of a fine horror film is not one that has you screaming in your seat, but one that leaves you looking over your shoulder for days after, and this does. Itís all your worst fears animated.

Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakes with no memory, Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakes with no memory, no clothes and a dead body in his hotel room. Worse, Murdoch finds that itís impossible even to leave the grim city heís in, and his only possible ally is a Psychiatrist, played brilliantly by Keifer Sutherland, whoís about as friendly and loveable as the Gestapo. Not only does he have to take on the local Police trying to hunt him down for a string of murders, that, for all he knows, he might actually committed, but also the mysterious leather-clad Aliens. Armed with god-like powers to manipulate minds, matter and buildings in this gloomy, oppressive city, they are led by the ruthless "Mr Hand", played by Richard OíBrien, largely reproducing his role from "Spiceworld".

So how would you cope? So how would you cope? Regrettably, youíll never know (unless of course, you already live in Hull). Whereas the citizens are left in the dark in all senses of the word, the same is not true for the audience. Sadly, Director Alex Proyas has severely underestimated their intelligence, and Keifer Sutherlandís voiceover at the start of the film effectively gives away the entire plot and completely spoils all the mystery. Without that, we would have been in the same situation as Murdoch, and faced a truly awesome enigma, but with it, all attempts at a twist in the tail have already been thwarted. But not to worry, there isnít one, and the filmís descent into the stale "Control Room" scene has all the originality of a James Bond movie and is a puerile squandering of what should have been 1998`s most memorable film. What a let down at the end!

Wicked waste of a brilliant plot

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett