The Darkest Hour

Directed By: Chris Gorak

Starring: Olivia Thirlby, Emile Hirsch, Rachael Taylor, Max Minghella, and Joel Kinnaman

The movie industry has been pretty bipolar this year.  2011 has had some really great films, but there have been plenty of horrible flicks that have driven up my bar tab.   It just so happens that Summit Entertainment has been at the forefront of half-assed filmmaking over the past twelve months. They've given us crap like The Three Musketeers and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1.  This holiday season, they decided to give us one more reason to spike the eggnog with Chris Gorak's sci-fi thriller The Darkest Hour.

Ben (Max Minghella) and Sean (Emile Hirsch) have an idea that will revolutionize social networking for people traveling abroad by recommending the best bars and clubs in various major cities around the globe.  They fly to Moscow to show their new social networking concept to Skyler (Joel Kinnaman), an executive for a Russian company.  Hoping to gain a major investment in their idea from Skyler and his company, the boys soon learn that they forgot to send a nondisclosure agreement.  Skyler steals their idea, and they're S.O.L. 

Later that night, Ben and Sean are at a club and meet two girls — Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor) — who happen to have found the club based on the recommendation from the boys' social networking site.  Skyler happens to be at the club as well.  Suddenly, invisible aliens arrive and start killing anything that's moving.   Ben, Sean, Natalie, Anne, and Skyler survive the initial attack and must find a way to stay alive somehow.

The Darkest Hour is a truly awful film.  The random back-story alone should indicate this.  Five people meet up basically because of a social network and end up surviving a global attack together.  We don't know who is leading this attack.  We don't know why they're attacking Earth.  We don't even know how they got to Earth.  We just know that people are disintegrating and that there's no electricity.  That's pretty bad writing right there.

On top of having one of the dumbest storylines in recent movie history, The Darkest Hour has some terrible acting, even for a horror movie. Most notably, Rachael Taylor gives a bad performance.  Her portrayal of Anne is absolutely dismal and is just as bad as any acting I've ever seen in a horror flick.  I used to like Taylor as an actress.  She did a pretty good job in Transformers back in 2007, and I thought she had some potential.  However, this performance here was utterly horrible.  Couple that with her epic failure in the remake of Charlie's Angels earlier this fall, and I have absolutely no reason to put any faith in her as a rising actress anymore.

Based on this review, you should already have an idea of what rating this film is going to get.  You're definitely going to have to get wasted for The Darkest Hour.  For films that get a rating like this one, I normally recommend mystery shots.  Given that the film takes place in Moscow, I'll be a little more specific.  If you dare to waste your time by seeing The Darkest Hour, you'll need plenty of shots of vodka.  Like Max Minghella's Ben says at the bar before the alien attack, drink religiously.