Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
Movie critics aren't supposed to give away the plots of thrillers. That's part of the unwritten agreement with their makers. The other part of the unwritten agreement, though, is that thrillers should have plots. Since "The Dark" breaks its side of the deal, I feel blameless in forging ahead.
This is without a doubt the dumbest, most inept, most maddeningly unsatisfactory thriller of the last five years. It's really bad: so bad, indeed, that it provides some sort of measuring tool against which to measure other bad thrillers. Years from now, I'll be thinking to myself: Well, at least it's not as bad as "The Dark."
The movie involves a Jack the Ripper from outer space, who has superhuman strength, can tear down brick walls with his bare hands and has eyes that emit lightning flashes. He kills someone every night. The police are trying to catch him. That's about it. The killings are not only unmotivated, but uninvolving, since only strangers get killed. They appear in the movie, walk into dark parking garages and are murdered. The creature's favorite means of attack is to pull off his victim's heads. Wonderful. The press nicknames him "The Mangler," a title that could more accurately be bestowed on the director.
"The Dark" alternates the nighttime attacks with endless scenes of cops lecturing each other on how important it is to catch The Mangler. But the case is finally broken open when the father of one of the victims (William Devane) and a local TV newscaster (Cathy Lee Crosby) team up to solve it. A psychic has predicted that a young actor will be the next to go, so they pub-crawl through actors' haunts to find him. They do, he speeds drunkenly away in his car, they follow, the police tail them, and everyone ends up in a deserted monastery where The Mangler is cornered.