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Dark Secrets (aka Cold Earth) - horror DVD / suspense DVD / international DVD review
Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Actors: Steven Elliott, Ben Shockley, Kate Thurwell, Gery Daniels, Alex Walker, Alice Grant
Directors: Frank Falco   Distributor: MTI Home Video
DVD release: 07 April 2009   Runtime: 109 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
DVD features: Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround), Subtitles (Spanish), Trailers

Ever wonder what a J-horror film would be like if it were made in Britain, with a small blond specter doing the haunting rather than a long-haired brunette? Whether you did or not, Dark Secrets (released in the UK as Cold Earth) is likely the film you would get.

The story: when the daughter of a celebrity couple disappears, detectives Farrell (Steven Elliott) and Radcliffe (Ben Shockley) are assigned to the case. Much to their dismay, there appear to be no clues nor a motive for the disappearance. Detective Farrell is also continually haunted by the specter of a murdered girl whose case he could not solve, plus haunted by (unfortunately) a very real and obnoxious paparazzi. He soon suspects, however, that the specter is trying to tell him something, perhaps something that will help him solve the case.

While not terrible, there is nothing particularly original about Dark Secrets. Anyone who has seen a J-horror film such as The Grudge, The Ring or Shutter will find the plot line quite familiar. Furthermore, the film becomes hard to follow at times, and the killer, when revealed, is not too surprising. However, the film should be given credit for having a likeable protagonist worth pulling for in Detective Farrell, plus some good, effective jump scares near the start of the film. It's perhaps good for a "rainy day" rental for fans of ghost stories, but not a classic anyone should hurry out to buy.

The film is rated R for language, but only for a few f-bombs. In truth, this movie could have easily been rated PG-13, for there is no over-the-top gore (and most of the violence is implied but not shown) nor any nudity.

  • Not much, just trailers for other MTI releases (none of them looked too promising).
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reviewed by Trent Daniel
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