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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dark Secrets (Region 1 Edition)


Starring: Gary Daniels, Steven Elliott, Ben Shockley and Kate Thurlwell
MTI Home Video
RRP: $24.95
Certificate: R
Available 07 April 2009

The young daughter of sports celebrity Darryl Van Dyke and soap star Lori goes missing, and there seem to be no clues to her whereabouts. Farrell and Radcliffe are the detectives assigned to the high profile case. They soon discover there are connections to an old investigation involving a serial kidnapper and murderer of little girls. However, this time there is no ransom and therefore no apparent reason for an abduction. As unpleasant memories of an unresolved police issue haunt Farrell, he puts unprofessional pressure on a suspect. But has he got the right man...?

I’ll start by having a moan about the regular “For Promotional Use Only” messages appearing on-screen for my disc. This undoubtedly taints, if not ruins, the prospective viewing pleasure of any reviewer (it certainly did in my case), and tells him/her the publicity company considers them untrustworthy and devoid of respect. In addition the sound balance is pretty near awful, all ambient noises and music being so loud that much of the dialogue is missed.

Now that’s out of the way, what about the quality of the film itself? This is fundamentally a murder mystery, although there are aspects of the supernatural. Spectral appearances occur regularly to Farrell, although it’s left ambiguous as to whether these are genuine ghostly apparitions or simply visions in his own head. Evidence seems to point to the former, as clues are shown to him, which push events in the right direction.

There is an attempt here, whether intentionally or subconsciously, to emulate the format and style of The Orphanage. Although unsuccessful in this respect, it does leave vestiges of regurgitated plotlines and copied scenes. In The Orphanage the drowned boy appears a few times to the mother and all events lead back to the family in the same way.

Dark Secrets is of mild interest, but the characters are pedestrian, and there’s insufficient meat on the story to give it any depth or credibility. When widescreen and Dolby Surround sound are listed as special features (rather than being accepted as standard), you can bet there aren’t any to speak of. All we get here is a trailer.


Ty Power

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