Movies writer at Vulture. Trainee Rotarian.
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This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The ugly stepchild of the Gillian Flynn cinematic universe, Dark Places is the definition of “a lot going on.” Start with Charlize Theron as the grown-up survivor of a family massacre who gets mixed up with a club of true-crime enthusiasts convinced that her brother, who was convicted on her testimony, is innocent. Throw in Satanic panic, secret babies, teenage murderers, and a serial killer who makes his victims sign permission slips. Once a supporting character is revealed to have a history as a teenage arsonist, it’s clear there may indeed be such a thing as too much specificity. Maybe it played better on the page?