Based on another page-turner by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, mystery thriller Dark Places can’t match its predecessor for throat-grabbing suspense but delivers its own share of intrigue and menace.
Despite looking nothing like the book’s tormented protagonist, Charlize Theron is suitably haunted as the grown-up survivor of a family massacre 30 years earlier that left her debt-ridden single mother (Christina Hendricks, excellent) and two sisters dead and her teenage brother jailed for life on the suspect testimony of her seven-year-old self. Now true-crime buff Nicholas Hoult and the morbid crew of geeks in his Kill Club want her to revisit this horrifying episode and help them re-open the case and exonerate her brother (Corey Stoll).
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Seen in flashback, the events leading up to the slayings (which also feature Chloë Grace Moretz’s thrill-seeking rich girl and a strand of Satanic panic) are fittingly twisty and dark, but the plot’s eventual resolution in the present-day is too contrived to be fully satisfying.
Certificate 15. Runtime 113 mins. Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Dark Places is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download courtesy of Entertainment One.