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02 Mar 2014

Home Video Review: 'After the Dark' Is Doomed by Terrible Acting, Lame Drama

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Rhys Wakefield in After the Dark. Rhys Wakefield in After the Dark.

I’m always down for a good apocalyptic movie. Zombies, alien invasions and biblical raptures have made for some great film—yet no one has made a good, horrific nuclear-war movie in the modern era.

After the Dark takes an interesting premise—and botches the job. A philosophy professor (James D’Arcy) makes his students do an experiment on the last day of class: The kids must determine which 10 of them will be picked to continue the human race in the event of a nuclear holocaust. When the kids run the scenarios, we see them as though the scenarios are actually happening. They run through multiple possibilities—but emotions and dirty tricks keep leading to fatal results.

So, yeah, this movie has a lot of mushroom clouds and radiation-poisoning. It also has terrible acting, especially in the case of Sophie Lowe, as the class leader. She delivers every line in a drawn-out fashion, as if she were playing one of the elves in the new Hobbit movies.

The finale is a real stinker, essentially turning the movie into a lame love-triangle drama. Don’t let the advertisements and trailers fool you; this one isn’t really about how to survive a nuclear war. It’s about how to get revenge on a guy sleeping with a girl you like. This movie needed to add zombies or Satan in its final act, not a bunch of junk involving someone who is lovesick.

The film is available via online sources, including iTunes and Amazon.com.

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