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The Darkest Hour – A hidden sci-fi gem killed off by the critics

Catching up on some sci-fi movies I had missed first time around, I came across The Darkest Hour, a Russian-American alien invasion offering that was originally released Christmas of 2011. This film seems to have been universally panned by critics, and even now it is difficult to find good reviews for it. However, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Bullet-point Synopsis

  • 2 young american businessmen in Moscow.
  • The meet a couple of random western hotties.
  • Strange semi-invisible electro-magnetic aliens invade.
  • Everybody dies except a very few survivors.
  • Survive!

The effects were really good, especially the unique way that the ‘monsters’ kill. I won’t give it away. What works about this film is that it really is science-fiction. With imaginative use of Faraday cages, glass insulative shielding and microwave guns, the survivors manage to fight back. It all clicks together from a scientific point of view… well, as long as you are willing to suspend you current reality ever so slightly!

Yes, the characters were not particularly lovable, and the plot was run-of-the-mill. However, looking at the release history of the film, it seems as though there was no special critics screening, and perhaps this coloured the reviews to a great extent. It seems as though this is an example of the extreme power of the media-elite before the public has even had a chance to see it. Plus it is set in Moscow. How dare an alien invasion film not centre around what was happening in the good ol’ US of A!

I thought it was a lot better than some of the crap I sat through this year. Watch this one if you are into you sci-fi invasion films. It is much better than average, with some shining moments of originality that are well worth seeing.


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