One of the worst times for disaster to strike is when you are in a foreign country. Not knowing your way around, isolated by language barriers and unable to communicate with loved ones back home make surviving more difficult. These are the cards dealt to the characters in The Darkest Hour
Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) travel to Moscow from Seattle for business that is concluded prematurely. In an attempt to salvage their trip, they agree to meet Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor), a couple of other tourists, at a nightclub. A sudden power outage draws everyone outside where bright balls of energy are falling from the sky. Then the attack commences and within days most of the population is eliminated. Guided by Skyler (Joel Kinnaman), the ragtag group set out in search of other survivors and a solution to the alien problem.
A surprisingly unique concept for an alien race, in which the latest trend has been to mechanize the creatures. These extraterrestrials are rooted in electricity, which gave filmmakers some fun options when planning the picture. The illuminated warning of their approach never gets old and their method of eliminating their enemy is quite eye-catching. Their purpose and means of hunting are eventually revealed, though it's a bit of a stretch for the average Joe to have figured it out so easily and with such accuracy.
This action sci-fi picture always keeps its characters on the move or under threat, maintaining a high tempo from beginning to end. Their luck is uncanny and they make so many stupid decisions throughout, it's amazing any of them live as long as they do. In the presented situation, the conclusion provides an adequate solution (or delay) to the destructive force – even if it's too late for most of the world's population. Nonetheless, it manages to remain quite shallow in regards to the characters and the invaders. Only the vaguest details of their lives are revealed and their relationships, though long, still only exist on the surface. And nothing is given away about the aliens beyond their façade and mission.
Though there are a few questionable elements in the film, for the most it's a pretty entertaining alien movie.
Director: Chris Gorak
Starring: Emile Hirsch
, Olivia Thirlby
and Max Minghella