AND SOON THE DARKNESS
US, 2010, 91 minutes, Colour.
Amber Heard, Odette Yustman, Karl Urban, Adriana Barraza, Cesar Vianco.
Directed by Marcos Efron.
And Soon the Darkness is the story of two young American women cycling through Argentina. When they are separated, one disappears, the other spends the rest of the film searching for her. There is mysterious man in the town, also searching for his girlfriend (who is pictured in the prologue to the film). A policeman helps – but, of course, he is in on the racket. Most of the film concerns the girl trying to find her friend, her being captured, her being tortured, her escape.
The film was based on a 1970 British film, about two English girls cycling in France. It starred Pamela Franklin and Michelle Dotrice, directed by Robert Fuest.
The material is familiar – especially from such films as Touristas as well as Perfect Getaway.
The film is an average thriller.
1. The plausibility of the characters, the situations, the behaviour of the girls? The girl being captured? The crooked police and the allies in the town? The friend trying to help and his being killed?
2. The Argentinian settings, the remote towns, the roads, the water, the mountains? Local colour? The musical score?
3. The title, the way it was used, trying to find Ellie? Before darkness?
4. The picture of the two girls, their friendship, their backgrounds, their personalities, travelling together? Cycling? Going to the hotel, being registered, their passports? The later appearance of the passport and suspicions? Missing the bus? In the countryside, swimming, sunbaking, Stephanie going off, their clash? Ellie and her disappearance?
5. Michael, his presence, his friendship, his help with local toughs? His explanation of his searching for his girlfriend? His helping Stephanie – and his being shot?
6. Stephanie, the search, engaging Calvo, the role of the police? The young man and his being with Ellie? Under suspicion?
7. Stephanie and the help from Michael? Her dismay at his death? Her being pursued, captured, tied up? On the boat? Using her wits?
8. The men, their plans, the treatment of Stephanie, the brutality? Her turning the tables on them? Her death?
9. The background of the people in the village, especially Rosamaria at the hotel? A conspiracy against visitors?
10. The tone of the prologue, the torture of the girls? The sense of mystery? The further explanations? Stephanie being rescued by the policewoman – would she really be safe in the future or not?