Horror Movie Review: Dark Circles (2013)

Directed by Paul Soter and starring Johnathon Schaech and Pell James, Dark Circles is a paranormal horror that plays on the problems that all couples with a new baby have.

The premise of Dark Circles sets itself up poorly but in a surprising turn of events it’s a pretty entertaining and enjoyable paranormal flick.

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As well as having a baby, Penny (James) and Alex (Schaech) have made the bold move to leave the city and move to a new house in the country. The move alone would put a strain on any relationship as Penny worries about her ability to be mother and Alex worries about his future as a musician.

Their hope of peace and quiet is shattered quickly by building work that begins nearby. Then when the baby stops sleeping through the night, the problems really begin.

They pair are constantly exhausted causing them to bicker and argue way more then what would be considered healthy. Their relationship is in trouble and then they start to see things around the house.

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The film focuses more on Penny as she begins to question her sanity all while Alex seemingly disappears into himself. Are there actually paranormal events occurring in their home or is it the shared delusions of a struggling couple?

Dark Circles is surprising in that it tries to avoid the expected jump scare filled style of modern ghostly-goings-on. Instead it works hard at providing tension and manages to create a creepy atmosphere at times. Helped by good performances, the better of the two is James. She carries most of the movie and portrays an exhausted and tortured mother well.

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You’re never quite sure just what is actually real and what might be a hallucination. That is until the rushed and disappointing finale. An ending that is very predictable and way to familiar, as if the dour story needed an overly light and happy finish.

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Disappointing ending aside, Dark Circles is a decent horror movie. Anyone who has had a new-born baby can relate to the couples pain. With the added paranormal elements just being creepy enough to add an extra layer.

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  • Carl Fisher

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Dark Circles
  • The Final Score - 6/10
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