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The Darkness | 2016 | PG-13 | - 1.6.5

A father (Kevin Bacon) returns home with his family after a vacation and his son (David Mazouz) brings home Native American stones that hold fear-loving supernatural entities that now inhabit their home. Also with Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, Lucy Fry, Matt Walsh, Jennifer Morrison and Parker Mack. Directed by Greg McLean. Several lines of dialogue are in a Southwest Native American language and in Spanish with translations or English subtitles. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man in bed wears boxer shorts and we see his bare chest. A teen girl in a shower reveals a bare shoulder; from outside the shower curtain, we see an indefinite blurry form. A woman sits in a high-sided bathtub (we see her bare shoulder). We see a woman wearing a bikini swimming across a pool (we see her cleavage and abdomen). A woman's T-shirt reveals cleavage in several scenes and a woman's low-cut dress reveals cleavage.
 A husband reaches under bed covers toward his wife's stomach and stops when their son steps into the room. A man and a woman kiss briefly. A husband kisses his wife's cheek. A man looks at his wife and squeezes his hands in the air as if squeezing breasts and she laughs.
 A man stands behind an attractive woman and mouths the words "Holy [scatological term deleted]!" at her beauty. A woman suggests that she and her male supervisor go out for a drink and he declines; she looks embarrassed. A woman confronts her husband over an old affair and he looks weary, saying that he is tired of apologizing, but apologizes again.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A woman awakens at night to bumping sounds and she finds a family portrait on the floor, completely smashed and she sees a wolf at the end of the hallway as it runs out of the scene, and she enters a screaming teen girl's room to find the wolf chewing up the girl's arm below the frame and the girl raises her bloody arm to show bite marks when the wolf disappears suddenly; the camera cuts to a hospital ER where the girl has a bloody towel over her arm and in the morning the girl's father has the police take away the neighbor's German shepherd. A man breaks into his son's bedroom and sees the boy on the other side of a vortex portal in one wall, walking with five shaggy demons; the man picks up rune stones, enters the vortex, and places the stones in a sand bank until a demon throws the man down with a long-fingered claw and the boy replaces a rune stone in the sand bank and the demons disintegrate just as one demon raises a spear toward the father.
 A pre-teen boy appears in the doorway of his bathroom and he is greasy and grimy and black goo drips out of the boy's mouth and big black handprints appear on the quilts of the boy and his teen sister, and on two walls, and two large hand imprints appear on a foggy bathroom mirror; in a teen girl's room, handprints cover a wall, a closet door opens, something indistinct moves inside and handprints rush out and slap and strangle the girl, but she recovers without any marks except grimy handprints.
 At his grandmother's house, a pre-teen boy chases a growling cat, nearly drops a heavy backpack on it, and supernaturally makes a rattlesnake appear on the kitchen counter; the elderly woman runs to the room where the boy chased the cat and a close-up shows her horrified face and the scene cuts to a hospital corridor where a doctor says that the old woman was admitted because she fears that someone is trying to kill her cat (please see the Substance Use category for more details). A man looks into his pre-teen son's empty treehouse and a wolf snarls and jumps toward him (no one is hurt). A woman finds her kitchen on fire with flames filling the screen as a pre-teen boy drops a large box of matches; we see the boy's parents arguing later and the father says, "He's getting dangerous." A man tells another man that a spirit healer healed the first man's young son and the second man's wife hires a healer to help their pre-teen son; the healers perform feather smudging after lighting incense in a large shell and they lay out a silver cross on a table and use two metal divining rods that supposedly point to demons in two other rooms while smudging and chanting or prayers cause thick black clouds, thunder and lightning to occur on the ceilings and outside the house; after bits of broken glass draw blood from the healers' foreheads and shoulders, they chant and we see shadows on the wall of five large petroglyph demons as the divining rods become red hot and drop to the floor and lightning fells one of the healers (she gets back up quickly and recovers) and lights go on and off.
 A haunted house causes banging sounds off-screen, a garage door that opens itself, creaking doors, falling glass knickknacks that shatter, bad odors that come and go, doors that open and close themselves, an attic light bulb explodes (no one is hurt) and a woman screams, a bedroom wall that suddenly becomes charred black and bubbly, and several black arms with long black claws reach out of the black wall toward a boy. A humanoid figure, whose head we never see, wears a long robe and scurries across the screen, appears in the background of a family photo, and sneaks into a bathroom and disappears; its shadow passes across a row of glass-framed photos on a wall and appears on the glass of a microwave oven briefly. A bunched bathrobe on a floor and bunched blankets on another floor rise up as if someone is underneath, deflate, and rise up taller still. A few times, we hear distant, indistinct roars, growls, and whispers off-screen.
 A pre-teen boy falls through a clay ledge to an underground cave where he steals five rune stones from under a painting of five petroglyphs depicting a wolf, snake, raven, bull and wildcat or bear; when he walks out of the cave we hear faint Native American voices off-screen.
 We hear that an autistic pre-teen boy who does not attend school can see things that other people cannot see; in several scenes, he faces a blank wall and smiles, talking to someone invisible that he says is a new friend. A pre-teen boy grins as he reaches out to a dark cloud containing a tall black blob with sharp black talons and he grins and laughs in two scenes when adults in his house are struck by supernatural lightning and flying bits of glass that draw blood from two women's shoulders and foreheads. We see grainy videos that depict the extinct Anastasi tribe and describe that they worshipped five powerful nature demon-gods that induce madness and death by appearing together to create The Darkness; we hear that their goal was to steal children and when captured they were forced into rune stones to keep them inactive. We see images of five tall dark humanoid figures wearing long furry robes and crude masks of demons. A father breaks into his pre-teen son's bathroom and falls onto the floor; the door slams itself and locks and when the boy's mother walks in, they all look at the walls and ceiling that are completely covered in red (it may be blood) and we see huge paintings of Native American demon petroglyphs everywhere. A boy sits in front of a charred bedroom wall, smiling as the wall becomes a boiling vortex to another dimension; his mother kneels beside him, shadows gather in the background, and the boy says that he and his mom should go through the opening (the woman wakes up in bed with a start). A smiling pre-teen boy sits in front of a black smoldering wall, arranging rune stones on the floor in several scenes.
 A website states that autistic children can see supernatural entities. On a website video, we see scenes of "haunted" houses burning with large flames and firemen bringing hoses forward. A pre-teen boy watches violent and supernatural TV shows including war movies with loud cannon fire; we see a brief cartoon scene of a dozen ghosts filling up a room and a TV switches itself on very loudly and shows loud cannon and rifle fire.
 A teen girl puts two fingers down her throat, then vomits below frame into a plastic container, caps it and places it under her bed; we see her lick her lips afterward, but we see no goo; her mother sees all this causing the girl to scream, cry, and then attack her; they push and slap at each other, screaming violently for several seconds until the father rushes into the room and the parents find two dozen closed containers of what we hear is old vomited food under the bed; the father takes her to a medical clinic. A pre-teen boy and his teen sister scream loudly and viciously at each other and push each other for several seconds. A pre-teen boy screams at his father every time the dad touches the boy's backpack; the father looks horrified. A woman sniffs around her kitchen and son's bedroom, says something smells bad and sprays disinfectant. A man tells a group of children that if they twist an ankle out in the Grand Canyon, they will be forced to drink urine and sleep in an animal carcass until they are found.
 A German shepherd barks continually at something unseen. A teen girl shouts at her parents and curses her father several times.

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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 8 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 10 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, crazy, airy-fairy, jerk, creepy, unbearable, soap opera), 1 religious profanity (GD), 8 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, God Bless You, Karma is mentioned three times).

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SUBSTANCE USE - A doctor says that she gave an old woman a sedative in the hospital, and a healer uses an unknown burning substance in several rooms of a house. A man pours wine below the frame for four people and no one is seen drinking, two cans of beer are shown untouched on a table, two couples sit with glasses of wine and a bottle on their restaurant table (no one drinks), two men walk to a bar where we see two rows of liquor bottles and they each take a glass of brandy to a table and one man drinks from his glass, a woman buys two bottles of vodka and her husband finds a nearly empty bottle on the floor beside her seat on a couch a few hours later, a woman locks herself in her bedroom with a fresh bottle of vodka and drinks some from a glass, and a sign on the top of a building is a green neon alcohol bottle (Patron brand).

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Family problems, communication, alcoholism, anorexia/bulimia, autism spectrum disorders, workaholics, beliefs, differing religions, the supernatural, demons, Anasazi and Hopi Native Americans, mental stress, work stress, love, marriage, illicit affairs, fidelity, responsibility, courage, sacrifice, seeking help, solving problems, forgiveness, reconciliation.
MESSAGE - Help can come from strange places.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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