Based on the book by Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) and starring celestially beautiful Charlize Theron as the only witness to her family’s massacre twenty-eight years ago. “Libby Day” (Theron) has lived her life bilking the notoriety, undeservedly visited upon her; brother “Ben” has been incarcerated all these years because of her testimony.
Libby, jobless, penniless, reluctantly accepts the financial offer of the “Kill Club” to relive the nightmare; they believe in Ben’s innocence; herein lies the circuitous trail to enlightenment; unveiling the past; wickedness burgeons in the dark, bleak, unscrupulous population of this small Kansas town.
Flynn’s facility in depicting evil, exploitive females has reached ultimate maturity with “Diondra” (strong, villainous, malevolent performance by Chloe Grace Moretz); she is an iniquitous force, tainting, poisoning all who inhale her presence.
“Dark Places” directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner is a tepid attempt to titillate; holding one’s interest until the puzzle is solved but impossible to invest much empathy in the plethora of unlikeable characters; Libby has lived her meaningless life, emotionally, psychologically crippled, incapable of rising above and beyond the horrendous tragedy; surrounded by detritus, strapping’s of her blighted history, she garnishes not a grain of respect, just another bedraggled protagonist doomed to anonymity.