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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Darkest Hour


Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor, Max Minghella and Joel Kinnaman
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 21 May 2012

Software designers Sean and Ben are on a journey to Moscow where they hope to sell a new social networking concept to the Russian market. When their business plans turn sour they commiserate in the company of the beautiful Anne and Natalie, before noticing strange apparitions in the sky. Wonder turns to horror, however, when the city is suddenly overrun by invisible forces that disintegrate any life form on approach. Fighting to survive, the group soon learns that electrical devices activate when an alien is near. Can they outsmart their extraterrestrial attackers and become the first of the human kind to survive the darkest hour...?

The Darkest Hour is a fairly low budget affair which suffers from sloppy writing. With a movie like this, it's essential that the audience warms to the characters, but here almost all of them are incredibly two-dimensional. Okay, so characterisation wasn't high on the list of priorities here... so what about the story?

Sadly this borrows heavily from much better films and never comes close to being anything other than an obvious collection of ideas from superior sources. If I was being journalistically lazy, I'd say that it was a poor man's Cloverfield - but it doesn't come anywhere near as inventive.

Okay, characterisation and plot weren't important priorities for the producers... but surely it's got some kick-ass aliens? This is an alien threat film so you're guaranteed some inventive aliens, right? Nope, afraid not. The aliens, when they first fall to earth do so as particles of light. When you "see" them later they appear to be shielded by a cloaking style device. We very briefly catch a blurry glimpse of what they might look like... but to be honest you don't really get to see them.

On the effects side what was impressive was the way that humans that come into contact with the aliens are turned to dust. And on the flip side, the worst effect is the alien POV of what humans look like. Do you remember that red glowing monster from the titles of Scooby-Doo!? Apparently that's what we look like to extraterrestrials.

The only extras are a handful of deleted/extended scenes.

Poorly scripted, with an ending that gives the viewer nothing but a heap of unanswered questions, The Darkest Hour is a pretty dull affair.


Nick Smithson

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