Dark Harbor

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: John Stanley

Plot: What’s it about?

Out of all the dramatic films ive ever reviewed (and there’s not a whole lot) I can honestly say I have never seen one with a bigger surprise ending. So im going to try and review this film as best I can without giving you to many clues on what that could be. Dark Harbor tells the story of David Weinberg, played by Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Dogma) and his wife Alexis played by Polly Walker (Sliver, Patriot Games). David and Alexis are a wealthy, married couple who live in an isolated port town somewhere in Maine. The two are on their way to catch a ferry to an island getaway spot for the weekend. On their way to try and catch the ferry, Alexis spots what looks like a hurt man on the road. They pull over to find a young man (who’s name is never known throughout the film) played by Norman Reedus, who looks like he’s been badly beaten. Of course the couple immediately offers to call the police, when the young man refuses any kind of help from police or doctors. What are they to think? Is this man a criminal, a runaway, an innocent victim? Well, they load him the car offering to drop him off at the ferry pick up. Alas when they get there they have missed the ferry. Convinent,huh? The couple ends up staying the night in a local motel, and thinks they have gone there separate ways from the young man. Wrong. The next morning the two get on the first ferry out, unknown to them is the fact that the young man spent the night on that ferry! David and Alexis, upon reaching the island later decide to take their own boat to a small off-isalnd picnic spot, when there boat veers off course under heavy fog and is shipwrecked on a small deserted island. Can you guess who also ended up on that island?

The young man helps the couple get the ship launched off the island and Alexis offers to take the young man back with them out of gratitude. So ill cut to the chase at this point. The young man ends up back at the home of David and Alexis, and the film starts running down that “im taking you in, don’t move in on my wife” type plot. Not that the couple are not happy in their marriage, well not that they know of yet anyway. So, the weekend has come and gone and the young man is now living with the the two. David is not to happy with this as he sees this young man as a predator, a leech and a criminal. They don’t even know his name or where he came from and now this man has moved in with them so to speak. Well, that should give you a good starting point if any of you plan to view this film, I will say that this movie was a total split for me. Some of the things I liked, some I just thought were nonsense. It is a slow moving, kind of indie type film that is a must see for romantic dramatic film lovers. But this film is defiantly not for everyone. Adam Coleman Howard is the writer/director of this movie and this is only his second attempt behind the camera. So needless to say this is not a perfect film in any way. But it is a nice change of pace from all the other movies out there and like I said before the ending threw me for a huge loop! I have always like Alan Rickman as an actor and his acting in this film is good but generic and cheesy at times. Polly walker, gives a great performance and I really was impressed as this is only her 3rd costarring role. Norman Reedus as the young man, well he doesn’t speak all that much and all his previous roles have been small ones but his performance is worth checking out in this one. So if your into drama or big endings or just want to see a dark,deep laid film, Dark Harbor might just be what your looking for.

Video: How does it look?

Dark Harbor is presented in full-screen format. The majority of the film takes place in dark conditions, rain, fog, overcast, indoors, night. But the quality of the picture is pretty good and I was impressed at how the film manages to keep good detail in all these low-light conditions. The scenery in the movie is spectacular at times, lush greens, nice deep grays, and good light to dark contrast as well. A lot to look at as far as beautiful scenery and more importantly it shows up real well on this disc.

Audio: How does it sound?

Choices, choices. Dolby surround in either 5.1 or 2.0. Well, I viewed the film in bolth (its rare that I do this on dialog based films but what the hell) and as the 5.1 surround was far superior to the 2.0 I must say I was really not to impressed with either. The spoken dialog was a little to low, and I found myself constantly turning the volume up and down to find the perfect “spot” and I hate doing that. The separation on bolth tracks was choppy at times and I really cant understand why they even bothered with a 2 channel option. Not great, not horrible.

Supplements: What are the extras?

There is a trailer, complete bios and filmography’s of bolth cast and crew, and a full commentary track with writer/director Howard. The commentary track was kind of bland and boring but it does give good insight on the film. The disc also has some pretty cool interactive menus!

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