Based on another page-turner by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, Dark Places isn’t nearly as good as its predecessor, but it’s still capable of taking you on a brooding and suspense-riddled ride. Admittedly, a bit of a slow ride, but intriguing nonetheless. At least at first.
Thirty years ago, Libby Day (Charlize Theron) lived through a tragedy when her mother (Christina Hendricks) and sisters got killed. Her brother Ben got fingered for the crime, based on little more than the testimony of Libby’s seven-year-old self and the fact that he was a loner who was into metal and Satanism.
Since then Libby hasn’t had it easy and ended up bitter, hardened by life and broke. That’s why when she is approached by true-crime fanatic Lyle Wirth (Nicholas Hoult), she agrees to tell him and his Kill Club buddies all about that tragic night in exchange for some cash. But Wirth isn’t just intent on hearing her story, he’s convinced of Ben’s innocence and wants to solve the case and find the real killer.
Writer/director Gilles Paquet-Brenner uses a series of flashbacks to constantly switch between present day and the days leading up to the slayings and just like in Gone Girl, plot twists are looming around every corner. The main problem with Dark Places though, is that while everything is supposed to revolt around Theron’s character, she does little more than walk through the movie while being fed little pieces of information by various characters that make a short appearance before fading out of the story again. Basically, they all function as little more than plot devices that you don’t get a chance to care about. Now, if only everything led up to a satisfactory finale, then it would still be okay. Guess what though? It doesn’t.