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191 of 380 readers found this review helpful.
My favorite kind of twist ending is the kind that you can see coming out of the corner of your eye, but can’t quite put your finger on until the story starts steamrolling towards the end, when all the loose ends fall into place, and you get the see the whole picture in all its splendor.
“The Darkroom” fell into my lap as a simple disc in a plain white sleeve. I had no idea what it was about, or where it came from, much like our main character, The Man. You see, The Man, has been in an asylum for the past 15 years with Amnesia (no, not the cute goth chick that cuts her thighs, the disease that makes you forget everything). He can’t remember his past…or even what his real name is.
An experimental drug gives him a ray of hope, but instead of opening up his past, only fills his head with visions of blood and violence and an evil mud-covered beast. Are these flashes of something vile he did, or premonitions of the future? The only way The Man can regain his past is to track it down himself, so when an opportunity presents itself (thanks to the sloppiest security force ever) to make a break for the outside world, The Man hightails it out of the loony bin and hits the streets to live the glorious life of a vagrant.
He soon meets up with Stanley, a young boy being picked on my some local ruffians. Stanley immediately gloms onto the likable urchin, and a strange friendship blossoms. Stanley doesn’t have any friends since his pal Kimberly vanished, so even a homeless stinky dude is better than nothing. I’ve been telling you Bums make good buddies, now maybe you’ll listen to your old pal Scraps.
Stanley’s got some serious issues with his stepdad Bob, who spends his nights roaming the streets with his camera and his days locked in his darkroom. Stan and The Man (you knew the rhyme was coming…don’t act shocked) are determined to find out his secrets, so they tail him at night and break into his beloved darkroom.
What they discover creeps them out…and they risk life and limb (and probably some in-school suspensions for skipping class) to solve Bob’s mysterious alter-life and bring his weird hobby to an end.
As I had mentioned before, there’s a twist waiting for you, and you can probably solve it along the way, but it’s still fun. It reminded me of such classic moments as:
“Holy crap! He’s been dead the whole movie!”
“Holy crap! That’s a dude!”
“Holy crap! He’s Luke’s father!”
Alright, maybe not that earth shattering, but it was fun nonetheless.
The cast included Greg Grunberg as Bob, who you may recognize as the psychic cop from “Heroes”, and Reed Diamond as The Man, one of my favorite characters from “Homocide” and the first dead undercover rat on “The Shield”. Both play characters a little outside their ordinary roles, but handle them quite well.
Do yourself a favor – avoid any hype on the film and cover your ears when people talk about it. Just get it and enjoy the weird story before someone ruins it for you. It was a fun trip, and deserves at least 1 or 2 return trips to look for clues you may have missed the first time through. 4 cans out of 5.
Added: Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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