Dark Harbour, 1998, is another realtively early film in Norman Reedus’s career and it’s one where if you look it up at all you will have the ending spoiled. This is a shame because it’s the ending that really makes this film. I heard about it before I watched it and it definitely changed how I viewed the film. Therefore the first thing I’ll say is, if you can avoid finding out the ending, do. In fact don’t look up anything to do with this film if you’re going to watch it. To be fair knowing won’t ruin the film but it will take the edge off.
In as little detail as possible the premise of the film is a less than happily married couple are on their way to catch a ferry to their private island for a romantic weekend. On the way they pick up a young man they find beaten up at the side of the road. They repeatedly cross paths with this man due to bizarre and seemingly random circumstances. During this time seems to become quite close to the wife and marital drama ensues. The whole thing concludes in an effectively subtle manner that doesn’t come together until the very last moment.
Whilst interesting this isn’t the greatest film ever. I found it slow to get going and falling short of reaching it’s full potential. At times I was frustrated and bored. I found Alan Rickman’s american accent annoying, although I try to attribute that to the fact it was an unfamiliar way of hearing him speak. Speaking as a biased fan, Norman Reedus was the best part about this film, I can see why he is so often cast as these types of characters because he just plays it so well. His awkward young man in an uncomfortable position was played brilliantly and I truly felt really sorry for him. Where as Polly Walker’s character felt really underdeveloped, I wanted to know more about her. Despite being pivitol in the film she never really seemed to do anything.
That said it is a movie well worth seeing if you come across it. Well filmed with some lovely views, it has just enough character development to become invested in the outcome and the ending is such that you will want to watch the whole thing again. It is a film of subtlities that can only be appreciated post viewing, which is why despite all the negative things I have to say about it I really recommend seeing it. Afterwards I came away with the sense that you’re supposed to be slitghtly bewildered throughout, it’s what gives weight to the ending.