6.2/10
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115 user 153 critic

Dark Places (2015)

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Libby Day was only eight years old when her family was brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Almost thirty years later, she reluctantly agrees to revisit the crime and uncovers the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night.

Writers:

Gilles Paquet-Brenner (written for the screen by), Gillian Flynn (novel)
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3,685 ( 234)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlize Theron ... Libby Day
Sterling Jerins ... Young Libby Day
Nicholas Hoult ... Lyle Wirth
Christina Hendricks ... Patty Day
Corey Stoll ... Ben Day
Tye Sheridan ... Young Ben Day
Andrea Roth ... Diondra
Chloë Grace Moretz ... Young Diondra
Sean Bridgers ... Runner Day
J. LaRose ... Trey Teepano (as J LaRose)
Shannon Kook ... Young Trey Teepano
Jennifer Pierce Mathus ... Diane
Natalie Precht ... Michelle Day
Madison McGuire ... Debby Day
Lori Z. Cordova ... Magda
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Storyline

Libby Day is a lifeless woman who survived the massacre of her family in their farmhouse in the countryside of Kansas when she was eight. She's been living on donations and lectures ever since. Thirty years ago, the police believed that a satanic cult was responsible for the murder of her mother and two sisters, and her brother Ben was convicted with her testimony in court. Today, however, an acquaintance, Lyle Wirth, invites Libby to visit "The Kill Club", where amateurs investigate famous crimes, and she finds that they believe Ben is innocent. Libby needs money and, in return, accepts to revisit the slaughter of her family and comes up to the painful revelations and the ultimate truth. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1985, her entire family was murdered. 30 years later, the truth emerges.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing violence, language, drug use and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 June 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lugares oscuros See more »

Filming Locations:

Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$208,588

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,090,852
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Libby is 31 in the book, while Charlize was 40 when the movie was made. See more »

Goofs

When Young Ben is on the witness stand, the Kansas flag is on his right and the U.S. flag is on his left. By law, the U.S. flag should be on the flag's own right (the observer's left) and any other flag on the observer's right. See more »

Quotes

Libby Day: I am, I guess, depressed. I guess I've been depressed for about twenty-four years. I can feel a better version of me somewhere in there - hidden behind a liver or attached to a bit of spleen within my stunted, childish body - a Libby that's telling me to get up, do something, grow up, move on. But the meanness usually wins out.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Bringing 'Dark Places' to Light (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love the Land
Written by Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones
Performed by Belong
Courtesy of Kranky, Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Production/Reception Problems Don't Nearly Sink This One (Despite Their Best Efforts)
28 February 2017 | by zkonedogSee all my reviews

A few years ago, Gillian Flynn's novel "Gone Girl" was turned into a film that received Academy Award consideration. While I won't go so far as to say that "Dark Places" is quite as good as that one, there must have been something going on behind the scenes in the production that really hampered its marketing. It doesn't nearly deserve the terrible reputation it is receiving right now.

For a basic plot summary, "Dark Places" tells the story of Libby Day (Charlize Theron), a woman still haunted by the memory of a childhood incident in which her brother murdered the rest of the family...or did he? Down to her last dollar and no longer able to exploit public sympathy, Libby hooks on with a group of murder investigators/enthusiasts led by Lyle Wirth (Nicholas Hoult), who pay her to re-examine that infamous past night. The lead-up to the massacre is told in flash-backs, featuring Ben Day (Tye Sheridan & Corey Stoll) as the supposed killer and mother Patty (Christine Hendricks) as the mother hanging on by a thread. What really happened that night? That won't be determined until the final memories begin falling into place.

To me, "Dark Places" matches up pretty favorably with "Gone Girl" (I actually liked this one even better as a book than I did "Gone Girl"). They both have a pretty respectable cast (even Chloe Moretz has a key role in this), they both feature a psychological thriller/mystery at the heart of the narrative, and both are thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end.

So, why did "Gone Girl" soar while "Dark Places" puttered out? There seemed to be very little advertising for "Dark Places", it premiered in very few theaters, and came to home video right away. There is also a sense (while watching the film) that the production value isn't quite as good as maybe it could be. Not overly detrimentally to the experience, by any means, but also not quite as polished as "Gone Girl". It felt a little bit cobbled together and stunted when it could have been just as great and nuanced as its Flynn-inspired predecessor.

Overall, though, "Dark Places" is a pretty solid movie that (for whatever reason) gained such a bad reputation that it flopped early and often. If you enjoyed the book, though, I think you will like this one just as much. Don't be scared away by a few bad reviews and some terrible score markings on other websites...it isn't nearly that bad!! Had some of the kinks been worked out of it, it could have been a lot more well-received.


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