Down a Dark Hall (film)

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Down a Dark Hall
Down A Dark Hall Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRodrigo Cortés
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onDown a Dark Hall
by Lois Duncan
Starring
Music byVíctor Reyes
CinematographyJarin Blaschke
Edited byRodrigo Cortés
Production
companies
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 1, 2018 (2018-08-01) (Italy)
  • August 3, 2018 (2018-08-03) (Spain)
  • August 17, 2018 (2018-08-17) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes[3]
Countries
LanguageEnglish
Box office$2.7 million[2]

Down a Dark Hall is a 2018 supernatural horror film directed by Rodrigo Cortés and written by Chris Sparling and Michael Goldbach. It is based on the 1974 novel of the same name by Lois Duncan.

The film was released in select theaters and through video-on-demand in the United States on August 17, 2018, by Summit Entertainment.

Plot[edit]

Kit Gordy, a difficult young girl, is sent to the mysterious Blackwood Boarding School when her delinquent behavior becomes too much for her school to handle. When she arrives at Blackwood, Kit meets eccentric headmistress Madame Duret and the school's only other students, four teenage girls with similar behavioral problems (Veronica, Ashley, Sierra, and Izzy). Technology is rarely used, and the girls can only phone their families in the domineering presence of the headmistress. The girls attend a variety of creative and intellectual classes, which begins to draw out unknown talents in the girls.

Sierra is the first to show a troubling obsession with her work, losing sleep, refusing to eat, and going into odd trances while creating amazing works of art. Ashley writes beautiful poetry and stories that deeply disturb her. Kit and Izzy slowly begin to experience the same bad side effects, saying it was like someone else was using their bodies. Only the belligerent Veronica shows no progress, much to Madame Duret's annoyance. During art class Kit notices that all of Sierra's paintings are signed "TC" and searches the school's library for answers. She realizes that Sierra is recreating paintings by the deceased artist Thomas Cole, and that the others are producing work from other dead genuises.

Kit convinces Veronica to search the restricted areas of the school, where they come across old student records and more information on the people possessing the girls. When Madame Duret discovers Veronica alone she chains her up in an unused part of the school, explaining that the students are not merely vessels for the dead, but donors, unknowingly sacrificing themselves to be used to continue the careers of famous minds, whom she is able to commune with and channel into the girls' bodies. Kit calls the police and confronts the headmistress about everything. By now Sierra has already died from overwork, and Ashley jumps to her death to stop the possession taking over completely.

While struggling to free Veronica, Kit knocks over some candles, and fire quickly spreads throughout the old building. Izzy succumbs to the beauty of the flames, leaving only Kit and Veronica to escape. Madame Duret is eventually possessed by her former pupils and consumed by the fire. Kit passes out and meets her deceased father, who convinces her to stay and live. She wakes up in the back of an ambulance with her mother by her side.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Stephenie Meyer optioned the Lois Duncan novel in April 2012.[7] In July 2014, Lionsgate acquired the film. Rodrigo Cortés was announced as the director the same day, and screenwriter Chris Sparling was set to work using a previous draft by Michael Goldbach.[8] In early October 2016, AnnaSophia Robb was announced to play the main role, and Taylor Russell joined the cast three days later.[9][10] On October 24, Victoria Moroles joined the cast as Veronica.[6]

To promote the pending release, Summit Entertainment released a trailer online for the film on May 22, 2018.[11]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began in October 2016 in Barcelona.[10] with Jarin Blaschke as the director of photography. After four weeks of shooting in Barcelona and two weeks in the Canary Islands, filming ended in December 2016.[12]

Release[edit]

Down a Dark Hall was released in Italy on August 1, 2018, and in Spain on August 3, 2018.[2] In the United States, the film was released on August 17, 2018, by Summit Entertainment simultaneously in select theaters and via video-on-demand.[13] The film was released on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD on October 16, 2018, by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.[14]

Reception[edit]

Down a Dark Hall received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 50% based on 26 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Down a Dark Hall is more stylish than scary, although its foreboding atmosphere may raise a few goosebumps among younger viewers".[15]

On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on 8 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Film releases". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Down a Dark Hall (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "Down a Dark Hall". FilmAffinity. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "Down a Dark Hall (2018)". AllMovie. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  5. ^ Harvey, Dennis (August 16, 2018). "Film Review: 'Down a Dark Hall'". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (October 24, 2016). "'Teen Wolf' Star Victoria Moroles Joins Lionsgate Thriller 'Down a Dark Hall'". Variety. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  7. ^ Abrams, Rachel (April 18, 2012). "Stephenie Meyer options tome 'Dark Hall'". Variety. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  8. ^ Eggertsen, Chris (July 30, 2014). "'Twilight' author Stephenie Meyer going 'Down a Dark Hall' with new YA horror movie". HitFix. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (October 7, 2016). "AnnaSophia Robb to Star in Supernatural Drama 'Down a Dark Hall' From Stephenie Meyer". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (October 10, 2016). "'Down a Dark Hall' Movie Adaptation With AnnaSophia Robb Casts Taylor Russell". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  11. ^ Kyle, Hemmert (May 22, 2018). "Down a Dark Hall Trailer: Welcome to Blackwood Boarding School". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "Rodrigo Cortés finaliza el rodaje de 'Down a Dark Hall'". Cine y Tele (in Spanish). December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  13. ^ "Down a Dark Hall". Lionsgate Publicity. Lions Gate Entertainment. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  14. ^ Powers, Gabriel. "Down a Dark Hall (US - DVD R1 | BD RA)". DVD Active. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "Down a Dark Hall (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  16. ^ "Down a Dark Hall Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 19, 2018.

External links[edit]