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Film Review: “Dark Places” (2015) ★★★★


Sometimes it takes a year to realize that whatever happened in the past must stay there, or a decade to find out the truth you already knew. Libby Day (Charlize Theron) was only seven years old when she witnessed how her family was brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Twenty-eight years later, she agrees to revisit step-by-step the crime just to uncover the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night which took three innocent lives….

Gillian Flynn, who wrote ‘Gone Girl’, takes us to another world created in her mind, where we along with the heroine must solve the crime committed decades ago. It begins with seven years old Libby, who gives a testimony to police claiming that it was her brother, Ben (Tye Sheridan) who killed her entire family. Based on her words her brother is sent to prison for the rest of his life. Twenty eight years letter we find Libby almost left without money donated by those who felt sorry for the tragic event she had to witness when she was a child. But soon a young man named Lyle Wirth (Nicolas Hoult) approaches her, claiming that he is the member of an organization obsessed with real life murder investigation, and they hope that with her help they can exonerate Ben (Corey Stoll).

Despite Libby’s assurance that her brother is the one who committed the vicious crime, she allows the organization to start investigating the case thinking that she might have sent her brother to prison by mistake. However, what begins as a casual investigation turns out as a twisted story with so many hidden dark places that Libby and her family wish to leave it as it was. But all this is nothing in comparison to the truth awaiting for her to be uncovered… the truth that will change the whole perspective of the night she must relive….

Dark Places is another gripping film filled with crime from Gillian Flynn, where you must pay attention to each dialogue if you want to solve the case before Libby. And that, I must say is quite possible, as a hint is provided almost every twenty minutes of running time. Even though I am always skeptical about movies based on books, however, this is the second movie based on Flynn’s book which is made quite solidly with a strong cast such as Charlize Theron, Corey Stoll, Tye Sheridan and Chloë Grace Moretz who seems like she was born to play the part in this film. Gilles Paquet-Brenner manages to create a satisfying mystery that tells us about a sadistic cold-hearted murder, where till the end is hard to tell what really happened in that ill-fated night. The bottom line, if you liked Gone Girl, then I see no reason why should not enjoy Dark Places, which is great in its own way.

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