French director Gilles Paquet-Brenner helmed Dark Places as a drama-mystery about an impoverished Kansas City farming family. All but two members of the family were murdered three decades ago. The story is told through Libby Day, played by , while she flashbacks to younger Libby Day, played by Sterling Jerins. Libby and her brother, Ben, played by Corey Stoll, are the two remaining family members from the night of the murders. Ben is serving a life sentence for the murders. The younger Ben is seen in flashbacks played by Tye Sheridan. There are also present circumstances that keep the story interesting. A true crime club that solves crimes and proves those who are wrongly accused innocent. The club is headed by Lyle, played by Nicholas Hoult. The club holds strong evidence that Ben is innocent. It was younger Libby’s testimony that sent younger Ben to prison. Lyle leans heavy on Libby to prove her brother’s innocence. As the movie unfolds, past and present meet and the truth about the night of the murders is unraveled.
Dark Places is based on the book by Gillian Flynn who wrote the bestseller Gone Girl and the screenplay for the same-titled movie. Gone Girl did well at the box office and nabbed some award nominations. Even though Dark Places had a limited release, I thought it played better than Gone Girl because the story seems more real in circumstances and characters. Both stories are intricately folded and twisted, but Dark Places wraps up nicely while Gone Girl leaves a few points and characters entangled.
Theron makes the story believable because she is an outstanding actress. Like Gone Girl there are minor storylines that drew me in to the film. Paquet-Brenner led the cast with honest acting in a very well paced movie. I am kind of surprised it didn’t have a wide release because it is so good. So, if you see the movie streaming or on the DVD shelf, I suggest you grab it and watch it. You will be entertained.