The Darkest Hour Review: Great Concept Bad Execution

The Darkest Hour is the first alien invasion film in a long time that tries to steer clear of plots and effects that have been overused in so many movies before it. Director Chris Gorak gives us a new kind of alien and a fresh location that add to the excitement and suspense delivered. CGI effects are good and look better than the effects of a lot of bigger budgeted films. By using Moscow as the location, Gorak needs to be given credit for finally getting all the aliens out of New York or L.A. and the panoramic views and scenery are first rate.
The plot of Darkest hour is simple yet effective. Aliens attack earth and the story follows five survivors in Moscow and how they try to fight back. Sean, played by Emile Hirsch and Ben, played by Max Minghella, are two Americans on a business trip and arrive during the invasion. The aliens attack fast and mercilessly because they are invisible until they are upon you. Sean and Ben survive by hiding out with fellow tourists Skyler, played by Joel Kinnaman, Natalie, played by Olivia Thirlby, and Anne, played by Rachael Taylor. These are not your typical heroes in a movie and make for some interesting interaction.
Now the acting in this film is mediocre at best and all the characters seem to deliver their lines like they are reading them from a cue card for the first time. This is a big disappointment and Gorak fails miserably here. When people get killed it leaves you with nothing to feel since you really don’t care about these guys. The concept of aliens being pure energy and invisible is a welcome departure from what other films have done with them. The initial attack and how fast it happens is one of the best plot twists I have seen in quite a while. The action in Darkest Hour is “B” movie grade and it looked like Gorak was afraid to get too gruesome. The way the survivors find a way to fight the aliens is not so unrealistic given the fact that these aliens are energy based. On a positive note, the way the Aliens devour all living creatures in this film is pretty cool.
Darkest Hour could have been a much better film if Gorak had given us a little more character development and less cardboard acting. The film does give us a nice little action film where ordinary people try to battle a superior force. It has its unique moments and the ending was a breath of fresh air for alien Invasion films. I would recommend this movie for Sci Fi fans just so they can see a fresh approach to an Alien Invasion film that doesn’t happen in L.A. or New York and doesn’t give us a standard ending. Non Sci Fi junkies would probably be better off seeing something else. You Tube Trailer is below.
Poster Pic: Darkest Hour