If there's one thing horror movies have taught us over the years, it's "Never leave home to a foreign country or island." The Italian cannibal movies taught is this, Lucio Fulci's "Zombi 2" taught us this, the "Hostel" movies taught us this-the list goes on really. If you go to places your unfamiliar with in horror, you will end up in danger. Well, you can add the new remake of the Robert Fuest film "And Soon the Darkness" to that list.
The film deals with two best friends, Shy, virginal Stephanie (Amber Heard) and wild party girl Ellie (Odette Yustman), who are on vacation in Argentina. Well, they miss their bus, and after lazing around in bikinis (not a bad sight I must say), Ellie ends up being kidnapped. So, can Stephanie find her friend? What's with that nosy American man Michael (Karl Urban)? Are the local policeman Calvo (César Vianco) and a guy Ellie hooked up with the night before (Michel Noher) somehow behind this?
As you can guess, there isn't that much mystery behind what will happen. Hell, it pretty much shows you one of the villains from the get go. Yep, this is yet another movie with sketchy law enforcement figures involved with shady dealings, the "good girl" becoming the requisite "final girl", and so many other genre trappings that tell you exactly what happens. And that's what's wrong with the movie. Well, that and it's mostly kinda dull, because you know what's going to happen, so it's hard to really invest any interest in anything that occurs. Sure, there's at least two things that are effective (the town of crumbling buildings and dead trees has an eerie ambiance) but the whole thing is written and directed to the point that it feels more like a direct to television movie than it does a serious genre entry.
It also doesn't help that none of the actors are really given much to do with their roles. To be fair, they all do fine work (except for Yustman, who I just found irritating), but they're all just characters we've seen before. Plus, we aren't really given much of these people as characters. We know that Michael is a stranger whose looking for his wife, but that's it. There's no other reason to care about him or anyone here.
If I could compare "And Soon the Darkness" to another movie, it would be to "Turistas", only without the sadistic edge, and just as uneventful to boot. This movie should have just been called "And Soon the Dullness."