Cold & Dark (2005)

JULY 28, 2008


It’s good to know British folks make really shitty cop horror/thriller movies too. Cold & Dark is a dull, badly shot, utterly baffling movie that took a lot of effort to get through. It goes without saying that I dozed off, but even my wife passed out about 20 minutes in, and she NEVER falls asleep at a movie.

That could actually be the whole review right there, but why end the fun there? I haven’t even mentioned Luke Goss.

Yes, Goss once again stars in a really bad HMAD movie. It’s not as abysmal as Unearthed, but it’s becoming hard to get excited about seeing this guy’s name in the credits for any horror movie (I’m also in the minority on Blade II – a movie that got boring really fast). He’s got some sort of charisma I guess, but he’s hardly a great actor, and this movie’s script/direction does him no favors (he’s quite good in Hellboy 2 though – I guess Guillermo Del Toro is just a better actor’s director than this guy, the sadly named Andy Goth). He also suffers the indignity of two of the most awkward stunts in movie history. Late in the film, he’s running on top of a large crate when he suddenly jumps to one a few feet away... only to jump right back to the one he was already on (it looks cool to do it once, but twice in one shot? Pointless, Goth). But that’s nothing compared to one in the film’s first big action scene (relatively speaking – this movie is pretty light on the thrill-attempting, even by DTV standards). For whatever reason, Goss needs to get to the other side of a wall (actually what looks like a large garage door). He jumps up and begins shimmying over toward the middle of the door, only to then jump down (maybe 10 feet) as a hook careens toward him for some reason. The hook makes a giant hole, but then Goss jumps back up and just gets over the wall right above the spot he jumped from in the first place, rendering the whole shimmy/hook portion of the scene entirely pointless (and since it’s pretty weak to begin with, one wonders why they didn’t just completely remove it).

But of course, removing it would result in the film having even less action. For a movie about a pair of cops, one of whom is becoming an alien (or something), not a lot happens that one would consider exciting. Most of the movie is just Goss narrating things in a muffled, hard to understand accent (the lack of English subs is pretty annoying), talking about some rather dull investigation that serves as the movie’s throughline (because, you know, an alien cop is simply not enough to hold viewer interest. You need a story about phony IDs and warehouse robberies), and other things of that boring nature. When the gore actually makes an appearance, it’s admittedly pretty cool (alien cop has a clawed hand – sweet!), but it’s far too little too late.

Confusion seems to be the order of the day. Goth seemingly loves pointless jump cuts and disjointed dialog (I often have no idea who is supposed to be talking), and also bewildering close-ups that I assume are supposed to look arty and cool but are just annoying and awkward. It’s one thing to use “bad” filmmaking to disorient the viewer, but not so much that they can’t even follow what is going on, and I can’t say for sure that was even the intent anyway. There are also story elements that never make any sense or are explained (like why a corpse bursts into flames, or who the fuck the guy is at the end who suddenly begins spouting off exposition as our hero just sort of walks away from a non-battle with the film’s villain), and part of the plot is ostensibly about a goddamn coat. And I’ve already mentioned the nearly unintelligible dialogue, but Christ, even the goddamn opening credits are needlessly confusing:

What the fuck does that even say?

I see absolutely no reason to watch this movie, other than to catch a few glimpses of sexy co-stars Cassandra Bell and Carly Turnbull. However, neither of them are in the movie enough to keep your interest and ignore the movie’s plethora of problems. Oh and the score is pretty good.

What say you?


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