Dark Places

August 12, 2015 - Charlize Theron stars in and scores a producer credit in this big screen adaptation of Gillian Flynn's second novel. Flynn wrote the screenplay for the movie based on her third book, Gone Girl, but she seems to have had no involvement here. The script for Dark Places was written by the film's director, Gilles Paquet-Brenner. The supporting cast has plenty of familiar faces, including Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Tye Sheridan (Mud) and Chloë Moretz.

Theron plays Libby Day, all grown up but still traumatized by the murders of her mother and two sisters 25 years ago at the family farmhouse in Kansas. Libby was only seven at the time. Her teenage brother, Ben, was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life in prison.

After the murders, strangers from all over the country sent money to little Libby. But now, the money is all gone. So, grown up Libby sees an opportunity when members of an amateur crime-solving group called the Kill Club offer to pay her for access to key players. Seems many of the club members don't believe Ben is guilty.

Libby takes their money and sets out to keep her end of the bargain. What she finds are dark places in her past, in her present and inside herself. She also finds the truth.

Overall review: *** All things considered, I think this movie was more faithful to the novel than the Gone Girl movie was to that book. It did a better job of capturing the Midwestern decay that permeates Flynn's novels and which adds to the sinister atmosphere. The movie also effectively handled the book's constant shifts in time and perspective. It's worth your time if you can find it.