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Film / The Dark (2005)

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"She has found a way to return from death. But, something came back with her."

The Dark is a 2005 British horror film directed by John Fawcett, based on Simon Maginn's 1994 novel Sheep.

In this film set in Wales, bratty teenager Sarah (Abigail Stone) and her mother, Adele (Maria Bello), visit her dad, James (Sean Bean). Due to an unintentional moment of abuse at Adele's house, Sarah now hates her mother and wishes to live with her father.

Whilst staying with James, Adele and Sarah learn of "Annwyn", the Welsh equivalent of the afterlife, and how a cult led by a man known as the Shepherd all committed suicide under the belief that it was a better life in the next world. However, mysterious things start to occur, like the local flock of sheep beginning to jump off a cliff to their deaths, and Sarah disappears without a trace, believed to have died. As Adele frantically tries to find out why her daughter has gone, a Welshwoman named Ebril appears—the only catch is that she has been dead for 50 years.

Now with only a Skeleton Key, a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl and the all-knowing local sheep shearer for guidance, Adele races to find Sarah, the answers possibly lying in Annwyn.

Not to be confused with the 1979 or 2018 films of the same name.

The Dark provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Adele is implied to have been one, particularly when she slaps Sarah, leading to her attempted suicide. Afterward she becomes The Atoner.
    • The Shepherd became this after Ebril returned from the dead the first time, torturing her in an attempt to extract the evil from her.
  • Demonic Possession: Ebril is implied to have picked up a hitchhiker when she came back from the dead.
  • Downer Ending: Adele manages to take Sarah back from Anwynn, and she's reunited with her father. However, she discovers that she's dead, and the Dark has possessed her daughter.
  • Driven to Suicide: There is plenty in this film. Aside from suicidal sheep, the Shepherd manipulated all of his followers, except the young Dafydd, to jump off a cliff to bring Ebril back from death. Sarah also tried to take her life using sleeping pills.
  • The Hero Dies: Adele drowns herself to get to the afterlife to save her daughter, and is not resurrected with her.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The afterlife is implied to be this for the Shepherd and Ebril.
  • Secret-Keeper: Dayfdd. He was the sole survivor of the Shepherd's suicidal followers, and lived with him and Ebril for a time.
  • Skeleton Key: A key which Adele retains for most of the film. Previously used by Dayfdd to free Ebril from her room.
  • Suicide by Pills: Sarah tries to take her life using sleeping pills after an argument with her mother.