And Soon the Darkness (2010) *1/2
D: Marcos Efron
C: Amber Heard, Odette Yustman, César Vianco, Karl Urban, Adriana Barraza, Gia Mantegna, Michel Noher, Jorge Booth, Luis Sabatini
Plot Synopsis: Updating of the 1970 classic about two American friends stuck in Argentina. After a dispute they separate. One of them is kidnapped and the other is left to look for her friend in an unknown place on her own after the police don't seem all that interested in helping.
Review: And Soon The Darkness is a relentlessly lackluster example of the stranded tourists being tortured in a foreign country formula. The story is always the same. A group of tourists are stranded in a foreign country with no way of leaving. The protagonists get separated somehow or someway. Does it really matter? One of them either gets kidnapped, tortured or killed. The others look for them. They then discover there seemingly idyllic setting is home to a bunch of people who enjoy killing American tourists for either money, pleasure or both. Then a race for survival ensures between the protagonist and the antagonist. The end.
Since it sticks so closely to the formula, comparisons to other films is unavoidable. It lacks the vividness and sense of place like Turistas. It lacks the memorable gore & violence of Hostel. It lacks a premise that generates a morbid curiosity like The Human Centipede. It lacks a strong, central performance like that of Kelly Reilly in Eden Lake. It's just lacking, for lack of a better word.
For 91 minutes, nothing happens. Nothing that hasn't been seen or done before, nothing unexpected, interestingly acted, excitingly violent or even gratuitously arousing. It's well shot and the cinematography is striking. So what? So are a million other films. Without any substance to back up it's pretty looks, this genre effort is bound to be left in the darkness, soon. [R] 91 minutes.