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After Dark Originals: Dark Circles [DVD]

3.2 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

When new parents Alex and Penny retreat from the city and move into a place outside town, the stress and massive sleep-deprivation caused by their infant has both of them seeing things. Persistent sightings of a strange woman has each of them wondering if they are suffering from hallucinations, or if their new home holds a dark, supernatural presence. As their fragile grasp on reality spirals into delirium, Alex and Penny find themselves nearly helpless to deal with the horrific truth of what is really going in this house.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2013
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BLF9FLI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,540 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a remarkably impressive film that mostly uses the good but seldom now used Hitchockian method of creating suspense without showing much blood and gore. It creates tension with expert filming, music, and writing. The story presents a very plausible explanation for the horrors that face a family. The suspense is greatly enhanced as a baby is involved. This is the best horror-suspense movie I have seen in decades.

The tensions are increased throughout the film which increases the suspense. The movie digresses into a more modern ending which includes some blood, which may be the requirements of today's audience. Fortunately, the blood is not overdone. This movie lets one ponder issues such as who is the hero and who is the villain? The script is excellent. Overall, while horror is not my favorite genre, I was deeply impressed.
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Format: DVD
In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that after living in many parts of the country in a variety of dwelling units, I have come to the conclusion that, Rosemary's Baby notwithstanding, anyone who lives in a house and not an apartment, a multi-family dwelling unit as they call it, is asking for trouble, and, anyone living in a house with no neighbors within 15 feet of them, might just as well call in the Coroner or make an immediate reservation in the local institution for the mentally ill. When I see a film like this, I take it as only natural that the occupants will either be dead, institutionalized or, after much mental and physical anguish, departed for more salubrious housing.
I know nothing of anyone associated with the film in any way, but think that they did a decent job within narrowly circumscribed limits. The lead male seemed already half shot before the couple (with newborn baby) moved into their new surroundings. The woman appeared bewildered from the moment they left for the "country". The other parts were negligible to the central action of the film. It was OK for the creators and Director to play it low key and inexplicable throughout, but not OK for them to provide no meaningful source for the happenings
My recommendation: if you like haunted house movies this is generally acceptable and not a grade B horror film. If you do not like unresolved puzzles, you are likely to be dissatisfied with the film. I saw it and left it with a sense of unease, of incompleteness, a reaction which the Director appears to have wanted.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan and collector of horror movies, but, unfortunately, no longer easily frightened or disturbed. One of the After Dark season one movies, "Unrest," actually gave me nightmares, so I am disapponted that the After Dark series has run out of steam. I bought "Dark Circles" when it first became available, and was bothered enough to want to see it again, but couldn't remember the title or from which of my collections it came. I am happy to have relocated it after much thought and searching. Anyone who has ever had trouble sleeping or gone through long periods of sleeplessness for some reason (I worked back-to-back night and day shifts for several years) will relate to the feeling you get when you are exhausted even to the point of seeing things that aren't there (I nearly swerved off the road on the way to my night shift to miss a guy who wasn't there). Some terrible things happen when this guy finally gets some sleep, and the nightmarish feeling of the final scene might make you wonder if he ever woke at all. This is probably a four, but I'm giving it five so that those who stop only for highly-rated movies might consider giving it a twirl. As a tough critic of horror films, I recommend it, and am just about to watch it again myself.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
From the get-go this is a film that demonstrates a fair amount of legitimately creepy moments but unfortunately the central characters are just so darn unlikeable. He's a struggling jazz pianist, she's a former professional something-or-other but now stay-at-home mother; neither seem to be working much and yet they buy a big, new home in the country and sit around all day being driven steadily insane by construction workers, each other and a newborn that wakes up every 15 minutes screaming. Oh, and there's also a creepy chick in desperate need of dental work lurking about which of course makes a bad situation even more difficult not to mention that visitors have a nasty habit of dying.

I guess for me the overarching story was just way too depressing to simply enjoy the horror and again, the main characters are completely unsympathetic as they sit around stewing in paranoid, delusional fantasies all the while tearing at each other so that by the ending I really couldn't share in their triumph. :o)
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Format: Amazon Video
Alex (Johnathon Schaech) and Penny (Pell James) move into their "Malibu Barbie Dreamhouse" with Tanner, their newborn. They are under stress as any new parents, plus there is construction going on nearby which makes daytime rest impossible. The film boasts a very good suspense and creep factor as a phantom woman (Lucresha Wells) appears to haunt them. Both of them have seen her and believe she doesn't exist. Their relationship becomes increasingly strained.

The acting and creep factor was done well. I really got into the film, but it seemed to go nowhere. You know everything seems to center around "the woman", but the film leaves you hanging about her until the very end, and then you say, "That's it?" The clues they give you don't allow you to piece things together. The climax doesn't do the rest of the film justice. A little more than a meh rental.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity.
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