Manila Bulletin; 3/6/2006
A grief-stricken family, a tragedy-haunted house on the cliffs of Wales and a small townas secret history.
In an attempt to pull her family together, New Yorker Adele Tullian travels with her daughter Sarah to Anglesey, Wales in the U.K. to visit her contractor father - James Tullian.
minor spoilers behind the CUT!
The morning after they arrive, Sarah mysteriously vanishes. While the parents desperately search for Sarah, a guilt-ridden Adele is haunted by visions of her daughter as though she is trapped somewhere inside the haunted house. Adele soon learns of an ancient local legend of a place called The Dark - an ethereal land of the dead - and she becomes convinced that Sarah is communicating to her from The Dark.
Not long after Sarah disappears, Adele and James find themselves involved with a girl who not only bears a striking resemblance to their missing daughter, but reveals that she has retuned from the dead to inform them on how to get Sarah back. They must follow the rule: aOne of the living, for one of the dead. The living must be sacrificed so that the dead can return. Townsfolk suspect that the Tullians are succumbing to the legacy of madness and murder that overwhelmed the houseas previous tenants.'
How far would you go to save the life of a loved one?
Would you go into the very jaws of death itself?
For thatas where distraught Adelle goes to rescue her daughter a" who is trapped inside a haunted place.
In this ominous netherworld your worst fears becomes a reality.
What will you see in The Dark?
Maria Bello and Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings, National Treasure) star in The Dark, a gripping true ghost story about a series of mysterious circumstances that befall a young family who move to the Welsh countryside, only to discover their house and the farm has a bloody past--
"Three years ago I was sent a script, loosely based on a haunting true ghost story that happened in Wales," recalls producer Jeremy Bolt ( Alien Versus Predator)
"I was rather taken with it because I felt the story has a similarity with what happened at AMYTIVILLE. Iam a huge fan of the first Amytiville horror film. A haunted house, unexplained disturbances that includes an interesting look at the supernatural and religious beliefs of our times." He said
Like the Amytiville ghost story, The Dark also has a family in crisis, a supernatural evil in the place where they live, former tenants who committed mass suicide.
The new tenants, the Tullian family now live in a cliff-top farmhouse once owned by a man named Rowan, head of the flock of worshippers who believed in the legend of Annywn (pronounced Anoon). Annwyn was the pagan version of heaven or hell, depending on whether you think you are a good or bad person.
The Welsh myth of Annwyn is named after the Celtic legend of a realm where all things are possible and not bound by the constraints of time or space. It is the source of all Celtic wisdom and the place where great deeds can be accomplished. In Insular Brythonic mythology, Annwyn was an underworld region, ruled by Arawn, or (much later) Gwynn ap Nudd. According to the legend, God gave Gwynn control over the demons lest "this world be destroyed." Originally, Annwyn was said to lie so far to the west that not even Manawyddan ap Llyr, the sea and weather god, had found it, for you could only reach Annwyn by dying yourself. Later, however, it was said that Annwyn could be entered by those still living, near Lundy Island and Glastonbury Tor. In the Book of Taleisin is a 10th century poem called The Spoils of Annwyn. It is about King Arthur and his knights travelling through Annwyn, searching for a magical cauldron possessed by nine women. Only seven knights survived the journey and this fable has been attributed as the precursor of later Holy Grail stories involving King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. The nine maidens related to actual groups of nine priestesses in ancient Celtic society. Geoffrey of Monmouth told stories of Morgan le Fay and eight other priestesses in his poem, Vita Merlini, who lived on the Isle of Apples or Avalon. As a result Avalon was often identified with Annwyn because it is a stylised Anglicisation of the word.
Producer Bolt explains, "I loved the profound texture of the use of Welsh legend to explain what actually happened to the Tullian family. That one particular place could co-exist as two essentially different ones in time, like they were on top of one another but had completely diverse looks and atmospheres. It was a new way at looking at ghosts in my view. In the usual ghost story you see spirits haunting houses that exist in the real world. But is that the way the ghost sees it? Their environment could look so different in the ghost world rather than the way it appears to the living. That reinterpretation really excited me. You pass through a watery portal, like Adelle in The Dark, and while you can recognise your surroundings, itas a warped, spookified and scary version of what you are familiar with."
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