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Dark Harbor 1998

Updated on April 1, 2017

Dark Harbor DVD

The Story

The story of this movie revolves around A married couple who's relationship is going through a rough time. Some would say their marriage is over or on ruins but, if like me, you have been married for a long time, then you know that any long-term relationship isn't always flowers and rainbows.

THE PLOT - A middle aged lawyer, Alan Rickman and his much younger, trophy wife, Polly Walker are driving fast through the rain to catch a ferry to a private island retreat when they notice a young man laying wounded on the side of the road. They stop to help him but he refuses to let them call the police for him. Sounds just like a film noir set-up doesn't it? They drive him to the nearest town and stay there the night themselves, having missed the ferry to their island. The next day the husband and wife sail to their island and are surprised to find the injured man camping there. Well this will end well....right?

Erotic sexual tension thickens the air and Rickman grates at the stranger's obvious interest in his wife and even more at his wife's equally obvious interest in the stranger. Tensions run higher as nerves are rubbed raw. As a watcher, our nervous anticipation gets ever more taught as we wait to see what will happen in this pot boiler.

Deadly Love Triangle

Two Men. One Woman.
Two Men. One Woman.

The Cast

As anyone who watches this movie notes, this sex-thriller is raised to another level by an engaging cast of solid actors including...

Alan Rickman. The matchess mr. Rickman is the charming actor who has entertained us all for decades. We admired him as Hans Gruber in the action flick, Die Hard and laughed at his silliness as Alexander Daene in Galaxy Quest. In Dark Harbor he puts in another compelling performance as the cuckolded husband that keeps us involved in this tense drama.

Polly Walker. Convincingly plays the part of the unhappy wife who is seduced by the enigmatic new comer. Although Polly has been in several films I have watched e.g. John Carter, Sliver, Clash of thee Titans, Patriot Games, she didn't stay on my watch list for some reason. However, she is a solid performer in this odd feature and I will look for more of her work.

Norman Reedus a.k.a the mysterious stranger, is best known from the television zombie series The Walking Dead, in which he plays a backwoods-survivalist-hillbilly type. Once you have watched Dark Harbor, you will never look at him the same way again. I enjoy his work as he fights to survive the zombie apocalypse and the same goes for his efforts in this piece.

Alan Rickman and Polly Walker's Love Scene

This Gal Gets Around
This Gal Gets Around

Alan Rickman, The Lover

I admit that I never thought I'd see Alan Rickman in a love scene. I was wrong. In this sordid saga Rickman gets a little 'tongue-tied' with his young wife when she puts the moves on him in an effort to repair their relationship. While I don't think we'll be seeing mr. Rickman in any risque sex-romps, he is perfect in every way for his role here as the older husband and successful lawyer.

The Pace

Admittedly the pace is slower but that is par for the course for this genre of movie. A slow building, taught drama where we watch three people slowly rasp each other's nerves tender as it builds towards an inevitable conclusion. It might drag in a few places for some folk's taste but it is a decent piece of entertainment. It's not really a thriller or a murder mystery as it is sometimes billed but more of a tense drama that portrays realistic events that serve to ground it in a reality I have seen play out more than a few times before.

A Deadly Affair

Love Turned Lethal
Love Turned Lethal

Dark Harbor Movie Reviews

Review Source
Rating
 
IMDB
6.2
 
Rotten Tomatoes
61%
 
 
 
 
Everyone agrees that the inimitable Alan Rickman puts in another engaging performance as the unhappy husband who's wife is clearly intent on cheating with him with the mysterious, young stranger.

It's funny. Your worst nightmare always seems so far away. Then, all of a sudden, there it is, like a monstrous tidal wave. You try to escape, but you can't. You struggle and you struggle and you struggle, your desperate cries unheard. Then, something strange happens, you stop struggling. Your cries take flight. You forget you're drowning.

— Mystery Man

One Lover Too Many

Deadly Relationships
Deadly Relationships

Cringe Worthy Moments

There is no clear bad person or good person in this missive. No one is clearly in the right or the wrong. It is just three people who are all following their own values, looking to fulfill their own, individual needs. And yet, in scenes like the one in the picture above, where the mysterious, young man volunteers his efforts to massage cream onto Polly's back, we still feel uncomfortable. Her poor husband, RIckman, is forced to watch from just a few feet away.

Dark Harbor Trailer

I Didn't See That Coming

I watch a lot of movies, in fact, my personal movie library is well over two thousand flicks, so I've seen just about every plot twist you can think of. My favorite 'genre' is film noir and, as a result of that love, I am used to dark and contorted fables where unpleasant people do nasty things to one another. You can imagine my surprise when I got to the finale of Dark Harbor and was completely caught flat footed by how everything resolved. I won't spoil it for you but it is definitely worth sticking with it all the way to the very end. The story tellers have something to say and you will absolutely want to hear it.

Famous Love Triangles

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Strange Love Surprises

Twists and Deception
Twists and Deception

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