“After The Dark Is A Visually Beautiful Movie, Undermined By Needless Pretense.”
I actually saw John Huddles’ After The Dark four or five months ago before it turned up on Netflix, and it bothered me then, and it continues to do so (though it’s taken me awhile to understand why).
Though I think I finally figured it out: After The Dark tries too hard to be seem significant and important, when it actually isn’t.
The movie revolves around a multi-ethnic Philosophy class in Jakarta, Indonesia and the logic tests led by their teacher.
When you’re exploring ideas of the mind, it’s particularly useful to not fill your class with, in most instances, remarkably attractive men and women. To a fault all the students in this class are beautiful, which movies typically do when they have very little to actually say about anything.
And the ending…let’s go into it for a moment. Things are played relatively straight, till that time, where the movie takes a detour into The Twilight Zone. It’s not a bad thing, though it has the unfortunate effect of potentially undermining much of what came before, because you’re not quite sure of what’s real, and what isn’t.
Which isn’t to say that I don’t mind a good mind-fuck every now and then, though what I am not a fan of is uncertainty.
Another problem I found with the movie is its underlying premise. As I mentioned earlier, the entire movies is composed of a series of thought experiments, done to elicit a particular response from the students.
Yet throughout the movie you have people interfering in the thought exercises of others, adding variables they shouldn’t be able to.
That being said, After The Dark isn’t a bad film, it’s beautifully shot and filled with lots of attractive people, but it’s really odd because despite have seen it (twice) I still have no idea what it’s doing or trying to say.