The Dark Hours - Canadian Cottage Carnage

Attention all gorehounds! Step away from the SAWS. Both of them. Ignore all those Rube Goldberg traps. We have a new winner in the stakes for greatest squirm-inducing scene of the year. The Dark Hours conquers all, including stomachs, with a scene at least as difficult to watch as Mr. Blonde performing ear-surgery in Reservoir Dogs.

This film could become a great new audience participation movie like Rocky Horror. Here's what you do - take a friend out to an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Encourage him to have third and fourth helpings. Once you get to the theatre offer to buy him anything he wants from the concession counter. About half way through the film take advantage of free popcorn refills. Then, with your companion stuffed to the gills, await the bloody climax which should coincide with your friend emptying all that fine food into the next 3 rows. Hurrah!

Canadian director Paul Fox's first feature is a tangled web of insanity, mental loops, and derangement. It centers on Samantha (the gorgeous Kate Greenhouse), a psychologist for the criminally insane who suffers from a terminal brain tumour and finds herself trapped with her husband and sister in a snowbound cottage. The trio is subjected to the sadistic games directed by a child-molesting mental patient (Aidan Pine - terrific!) seeking vengeance and who brandishes an axe almost as sharp as his black sense of humour.

Though the movie begins slowly, almost enough to make you wonder if this is indeed a proper horror/thriller, it erupts with fierce intensity once we arrive at the frozen lakeside cottage. The next hour is a stew of sweaty bodies, tense mind games, witty dialogue - particularly by the maniacal Pine - mystery, and murder. The audience is never quite sure what's going on in the dark minds of the characters but that's the point of it all.


And then we have...IT; the aforementioned scene. If you're able to watch IT without cringing on looking away at least once, you've got a gut like a ship's hull. At that point I was no longer concerned about trying to wrap my head around the intricacies of the plot but instead found myself wishing for something easier to watch; say...a highlight reel from Cannibal Holocaust.

Guaranteed, you'll walk out of the theatre sweating from that climactic scene and then spend the next 30 minutes wondering if you've ever seen anything more gruesome. Don't worry about the plot of The Dark Hours; it's all just a means of getting to fireside "games". Enjoy.

The Dark Hours pic borrowed from hour.ca
pliers pic from hooverfence.com

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