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Film / In Darkness

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In Darkness is a Conspiracy Thriller and crime drama film released in 2018, directed by Anthony Byrne. It was released on May 25, 2018 in the United States, and on 6 July that same year in the United Kingdom. It was also written by Byrne and Natalie Dormer, as well as stars Dormer herself, Ed Skrein, Emily Ratajkowski and Joely Richardson.

Sofia McKendrick (Dormer) is a blind but successful pianist in London, England, haunted by the massacre of her family during The Yugoslav Wars. She is neighbors with a young woman named Veronique (Ratajkowski), despite controversy surrounding the latter's family; Veronique's father is Zoran Radic (Bijvoet), the Serbian War criminal and businessman, accused of running an arms dealing and human trafficking operation. Shortly after being given a USB drive by Veronique, Sofia witnesses Veronique's death, and soon finds herself in the cross-hairs of Radic and his associates. In the meantime, Sofia has a number of secrets herself and her own reasons for getting in Radic's sights, as she had Radic in her own sights for years.


No connection to 2011 Polish film In Darkness.


  • Ambiguous Situation: Sofia's parentage. Radic suggests that he is Sofia's biological father, and is under that assumption when their backstory is revealed. We don't really get an answer on that, but it should be noted that Radic mentions the girl he claims to have fathered became blind; the revelation that Sofia was not the blind daughter further muddies things up.
  • Anti-Hero: Sofia is revealed to be this as her goal throughout the movie was to get revenge on Radic for the massacre of her family. She ends up doing morally dubious things throughout such as blackmail, and two attempts at vigilante execution, despite having the means of legally exposing Radic's crimes.
  • Anti-Villain: Marc Gordon is a criminal and hitman working for his corrupt sister Alexandra, and by proxy Radic's organization. That all said, he's nothing short of helpful and empathetic, and among the more sympathetic characters in the film. He becomes a romantic interest for Sofia, has no loyalty to Radic, and the only time we see him killing people, it's Radic's other henchmen and in the context of saving Sofia's life.
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  • Archnemesis Dad: Radic ordered his daughter's death when he learned she was planning to expose his criminal operations. When he discovers Sofia's plans to kill him, he tells Sofia that he raped her mother years ago, and is at least under the impression that he's her biological father. This belief does nothing to stop him from trying to kill her.
  • Attempted Rape: Sofia is ganged up on and nearly assaulted by random street thugs who try to take advantage of the fact she's blind. Marc makes quick work of those thugs.
  • Big Bad: Zoran Radic, the public philanthropist, crime boss and former war criminal, who orchestrated the films plot by having his daughter Veronique killed. Over the course of the film we find out that Sofia is on a quest for revenge against him for the crimes commited against her family.
  • Big Bad Friend: As more of Sofia's backstory is revealed, we learn that Radic was a neighbor of her families in her childhood home. She recalls how she and her sister used to play in his garden and suggests he had a friendly relationship with her family. Later on, Radic would sell out her family during Bosnian War, personally leading the Serbian paramilitaries in massacring them. Radic recalls their relationship, and claims to have been in love with her mother, leading him to rape her while she was on an outing.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Marc pulls this three times over the course of the movie; first is when he saves her from being raped by thugs; the second is when he saves her from a kidnapping and torture; third is when he kills Radic just as he was getting the upper hand in his fight with Sofia.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sofia manages to kill Radic and avenge her family. However just about everyone else involved in the conspiracy is dead; Marc survives but is unable to pursue a relationship with Sofia as he intends to take the fall for Radic's death. On top of that, Detective Mills has discovered Sofia isn't blind, and may be looking into her involvement as the film ends.
  • Child by Rape: Implied. When confronted at Veronique's funeral, Radic reveals he raped Sofia's mother shortly before she became pregnant with one of her daughters; the one who became blind. It's suggested he's in fact Sofia's biological father, but when we find out that Sofia was not the blind daughter, this throws Radic's already dubious claims into even more questions.
  • Daylight Horror: The sequence in which Sofia is kidnapped and tortured in a van occurs in during daylight hours. In the middle of a public street no less!
  • Driven to Suicide: The actual cause of Veronique's death, driven by fear, paranoia and drunken despair when she realizes her father was out to kill her and her boyfriend was the hitman hired to do so.
  • The Dragon: Alexandra Gordon, Marc's sister and head of Radic's security. She is the second in the pecking order to Radic's operations.
    • The Starscream: She is also trying to undermine Radic and take over his operations. This gets her killed when he discovers her plans.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Alexandra seems to genuinely care about Marc, and tries to make an appeal to him when she realizes Radic is out to kill her. Marc, on his part, is disillusioned by his sister due to her indirect role in his unborn child's death and leaves her to her fate.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Sofia's kidnapping sequence, where she is pulled into a van by Radic's henchmen. She is saved by Marc after being tortured in the van, and when he pulls her to safety, a few of Radic's goons make attempts on her in the crowded streets, posing as random street thugs.
  • Faux Action Girl: Sofia has been preparing for years to kill Radic and plans on doing so herself. In their ensuing fight, while she holds her own at first, Radic quickly gains the upper hand and nearly kills her. She doesn't even have being blind as a disadvantage.
  • Fan Disservice: We get a sequence of Sofia taking a shower, and shows off her naked body. This is juxtaposed with a sequence of Veronique's body being washed and examined at the morgue. That and the scene's context is rather off-putting.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Marc plans to take the fall for Radic's death, due to the fact he is a hitman and wanted fugitive. There's also the fact he technically is the guilty party, since he was the one who ultimately kills Radic.
  • Handicapped Badass: Subverted with Sofia. She tries to personally kill Radic, and is quickly overwhelmed in their ensuing fight. You'd think this would have to do with her being blind, except we find out she was never blind to begin with.
  • Happily Adopted: Sofia has an adopted father in Niall, who was a soldier who saved her as a child during the war and protected her well into adulthood. He has been secretly aiding in her plans to bring Radic down, and it's clear the two care about each other very much.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Marc seems to be an all-around decent guy once you get past the fact he's an active criminal and hitman for Radic's organization. He was the one picked to kill Veronique and ends up having a romantic affair with her, and may have impregnated her. He discovers this after her death, which prompts him to side against Radic, and protect Sofia throughout the movie.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: One of the first things uncovered after Veronique's death is that she was twelve weeks pregnant, presumably with Marc's child.
  • MacGuffin: The USB drive Veronique gives Sofia, which contains all the information on Radic's criminal activities. It's one of the reasons why Sofia is being targeted, and why Veronique got a kill order put out on her.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe:
    • While it's not directly confirmed, Marc is under the impression that he's the father of Veronique's unborn child.
    • When Radic discovers who Sofia really is and why she wants to kill him, he implies and believes that she is his biological daughter, since he raped her mother shortly before she became pregnant.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Sofia has been posing as her deceased blind sister, and feigned blindness for years to keep up the act.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Subverted. While Radic's criminal operations are pretty much an open secret, there's no concrete proof connecting him to said operations. It's all on a USB Drive.
    • Detective Mills is a competent investigator, and successfully digs up into her past, and realizes that she isn't blind towards the end of the film. It's implied they are going to be looking into Sofia and her involvement with Radic's death as the film ends.
  • The Reveal: Multiple that occur over the film:
    • Veronique was pregnant, presumably with Marc's child, at the time of her death. Her father was the one behind her death. Veronique has been trying to expose her father's activities, and knew of Sofia's vendetta against him, which is why she gave her the USB Drive.
    • Sofia has been planning to kill Radic for years for the massacre of her family. This was one of the reasons she got close Veronique to begin with. "Sofia" isn't her real name. When she was adopted by Niall, he gave her the name of his biological daughter, who died in infancy. After recounting that she had a deceased sister who pretended to be blind for her benefit, we discover the blind daughter was in fact the one who was killed. Sofia could see the whole time, and was feigning blindness for years.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Averted with Radic. He puts on a public front of being a philanthropist and billionaire, involved in charities for war refugees. That being said, his past as a Serbian war criminal is well known, with many wanting him to answer for his previous crimes. On top of that, the fact that he is currently involved in human trafficking and arms deals is pretty much an Open Secret, even if there is no direct proof linking them. With the news surrounding him, many correctly guess that he is behind his daughters death. On the flip side, it doesn't stop him from trying to present a legitimate image for himself.