Film review: Dark Harbor (1998), directed by Adam Coleman Howard
A couple is driving along a rainy road and they argue a little. When they drive past a man who collapses, they stop. The husband wants to call the police but the “young man” says no cops so they end up driving him to the town. A couple of things happen and this “young man” ends up staying with the couple.
End of General Plot
Okay, that’s all I can tell you without giving you spoilers, so from here on it could be spoilers. But I have to tell you that if you can’t figure out the entire plot after twenty minutes, then you suck, and if you’re not an Alan Rickman fan then I don’t even think you want to see the movie. So you decide if you care about spoilers or not, if not, then let’s see what I can say about this one.
Why do I keep calling him “young man”? He is bound to have a name, right? Yes, you would think that the director or scriptwriter would come up with a name for all the three characters in this movie (yes, basically it’s just three people in the entire movie) but no, the young man has no name. So I will call him Jack. Just because. He does introduce himself in the movie I think … but I can’t for the life of me remember what he said, or I just imagine that introduction.
Anyway, Jack is homeless and he says he can’t write but he is a poet and he is dark, mysterious and I think he is supposed to be handsome in some way, but I just can’t really see it. The woman is very unhappy in her relationship with her husband (played by Alan Rickman, of course) and he seems … well, sometimes unhappy and sometimes just bored with her and sometimes happy, so I guess I don’t really know (well, I did kind of know, since I knew the ending ten minutes into the movie, but still). They save him and he ends up in the house on the island (of course it has to be an island, because otherwise it can’t be a storm so they can’t call anyone … yes, not kidding you, that is what happened) and they, well … hang out? They yell some, they talk some more, the husband leaves sometimes and then our young man tries to seduce the woman, it doesn’t really work and so on … It’s boring, people!
The director thinks that just with some “scary” music and a woman in a shower we are supposed to be scared, or a woman running through the forest in her nightgown (yes, not kidding you, it’s in there! The picture of the woman running on the cover of the movie is much scarier than when she actually does it in the movie), not to mention the so obviously pretended argument between the two men when the husband runs after the young man as if “he was going to kill him”. Unfortunately nothing scary happens. Even The Blair Witch Project is scarier than this movie – and I did not get scared by than one, sorry to those of you who did, but … the scene where Harry gets grabbed by Inferi in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie were scarier than that entire movie! So called scary music and so called scary environment does not a scary movie make. Sorry, Mr. Director, but you suck. No, you don’t get a free pass for making the movie in 1998 either, a good movie is timeless. (The warning with age limit 15 is just crazy!)
Of course, the acting of my lovely Alan Rickman is superb, but I never expected anything more or less from him, Jack (Norman Reedus) is pretty good to and the woman (Polly Walker) is okay I guess, but with a bad storyline, crappy script and an obvious ending, not even my Rickman can save this one.
So … why am I still going all “SQUEE!” after watching it? Yes I did! Because of the last minutes of it. Alan Rickman is on this boat (the wife is dead and we didn’t even get to see it happen!) and he undresses … EVERYTHING! Yes, you heard me! EVERYTHING! HE IS NAKED! (If you pause and watch you can even see his … well, you know … not that I did or anything … yet …) and he jumps into the sea, swims and walks butt naked up the stairs to the house. And we get to see it! Naked Alan Rickman from behind! Come on, that is well worth all the squee in the world! But not only that, oh no, when you think you might die of happiness, the young man arrives and they KISS! A real, on the mouth (well, you don’t get to see that much unfortunately, but it’s supposed to be anyway), kiss! I think I can die happy now … *crumbles to the floor in a pile of happy goo*
(Guess I don’t have to tell you the twist of this movie now, do I?)