#323 -- The Darkest Hour (2011)

Director: Chris Gorak
Rating: 3 / 5

When I first heard about this movie, I was really interested in seeing it. Not because it looked like the coolest thing ever, but because I didn't know what the fuck it was about and I was intrigued. That was a smart move on their part, I guess, because it definitely roped me in. Then again, I waited for DVD instead of seeing it in theaters, so maybe not.

Plot: A group of youngsters witness some strange beings consuming everyone around them. They hide for a while, to be sure that they're safe, until they finally decide that they should venture outside. They wander through the city for a while until they meet up with an old man and a young girl. The man and girl have found a pretty decent way of keeping themselves safe, so the group sticks with them for a little while. They eventually learn of a possible safe haven, and they all venture outside once again to find it. Sound familiar? Once I really caught on, I couldn't help but feel that this was just 28 Days Later with a science fiction twist. I mean, the basics of it are pretty much spot on. There are some differences, of course, but it really felt like the same movie to me. Well, not the same, because...you know, 28 Days Later is a lot better.

The aliens, robots, or whatever those fucking things were...they sure didn't look like zombies. But if you think about it, they pretty much were. They weren't chowing down on these folks' heads, but they were, in a sense, eating them. The kids figured out that they were drawn to the electromagnetic energy inside their bodies, or something. Whenever the things got near, everything electrical would start going off; so I guess they were batteries. That's what I'll call them. The movie actually started off with a group, rather than one person who eventually met up with a group, and it took place in Moscow, rather than Britain. But other than that, it's essentially the same. I'm not sure if the film-makers were even aware of what they were doing, or if I'm the only one who sees it this way.

The movie was definitely interesting, but there are a few problems that I faced while watching it. Once I got it into my head that these things were zombies, I just couldn't feel anything for them. I love zombies, but not like this. I'm all for sculpting the undead into your own image, but this was a little much. I think if you go into it understanding that these things are Batteries, and not zombies, you might feel a little differently. Of course, you might feel exactly like I do. The second problem I had was that it was kind of hard to understand. I couldn't help thinking that I was too stupid to be watching this movie, because all that science talk made my head hurt. Sure, I got the majority of what was going on. I understand they were feeding on the energy in their bodies, and they were on their way to a much larger food source (energies below the city). But I didn't understand everything 100%, and that bugged me. I like to make myself believe I'm smarter than I actually am, and when that fake intelligence is questioned, I get a little testy. So maybe that's just a personal problem.

Besides all that junk, though, it's actually not bad. The idea of these unnamed creatures coming from some unknown place and devouring practically everything in sight...well, that's pretty scary. The fact that they were practically 100% invisible makes it even worse. There were enough nice friendships and budding relationships going on to keep the characters from being completely dull, but there was nothing that really blew me away. Overall, it was okay.

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