The Darkest Hour

December 25th 2011
  • Action/Sci-Fi,
  • PG-13,
  • 89 min,
  • Summit Entertainment
  • Cast: Emile Hirsch, Rachael Taylor, Olivia Thirlby, Joel Kinnaman, Max Minghella, Dato Bakhtadze, Yuriy Kutsenko, Artur Smolyaninov, Pyotr Fyodorov, Nikolay Efremov
  • Director: Chris Gorak
  • Writers: Jon Spaihts, Leslie Bohem, M.T. Ahern
  • Producers: Timur Bekmambetov, Tom Jacobson, Stephen A. Marinaccio II, Charles Salmon
  • Co Producers: Iva Stromilova, Lulu Zezza
  • Executive Producer: Monnie Wills
  • Castings: Venus Kanani, Mary Vernieu
  • Costume Design: Varvara Avdyushko
  • D.O.P.: Scott Kevan
  • Editors: Fernando Villena, Doobie White
  • Makeup: Linda Dvorakova
  • Music: Tyler Bates


The story tells of a group of young people who fight to survive in Russia after an alien invasion, the catch being that the aliens are invisible.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Moscow, Russia
  • MPAA Warning: Sci-fi action violence and some language
  • Production Budget: $50 million
  • Production Companies: Regency Enterprises
  • Production Schedule: July 18 2010 - October 2010

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2011 Guide Analysis: "Seventy years ago Winston Churchill used that titular phrase in the days before the Nazi army crossed into Russian territory. Now it aptly fits an invasion of a different kind, one where the jackbooted soldiers and German tanks have been replaced by aliens and destructive spacecraft in Summit's $40 million action thriller said to be in the style of "28 Days Later" and shot natively in 3D.

The last release in a wave of alien invasion films of late that began with "Skyline" and continues with "Battle Los Angeles" and "Apollo 18" next year, the big selling point of 'Hour' is the setting. Aside from the various attacks that seem to kick off in the UK in "Doctor Who", films and shows about alien forces attempting to gain a foothold on Earth have always been set either primarily or completely within the United States. Here, both the film's production and the onscreen action takes place entirely in Russia.

The project is helmed by Chris Gorak ("Right at Your Door"), a former production designer and art director turned filmmaker who also penned the currently shooting "Man on a Ledge". Here he's heavily supported by "Night Watch" and "Wanted" director Timur Bekmambetov who is producing and supervising the shoot at his personal studio Bazelevs in Moscow. Though much of Eastern Europe has become a filmmaking mecca since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Hollywood hasn't made much use of Russia as a filming locale which means at least there's a chance of some fresh visuals and location work beyond the confines of Red Square.

The film has been written by three scribes, one (Jon Spaihts) did the script for Ridley Scott's upcoming "Alien" prequel, the other (Leslie Bohem) penned the likes of "Dante's Peak," "The Alamo," "Daylight" and the upcoming "Real Steel". The cast is a healthy international mix of two Yanks (Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby), a Brit (Max Minghella) and an Aussie (Rachael Taylor) in the leading roles with local talent filling out the rest of the cast.

Production was suspended for a planned two weeks due to the extraordinary air pollution caused by heavy smoke from the wild fires surrounding Moscow in August 2010. It eventually resumed three weeks later, and the release date has been unaffected. Coming out late Summer, it will suffer comparisons with the other films of this type opening next year, let us hope it's different enough to distinguish itself."

Trailers & Clips

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 16 September 2011: Italy
  • 1 December 2011: Hong Kong
  • 22 December 2011: Belarus, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Russia
  • 28 December 2011: France
  • 30 December 2011: Finland
  • 4 January 2012: Belgium
  • 5 January 2012: Germany, Singapore
  • 6 January 2012: Lithuania, Sweden
  • 12 January 2012: Netherlands, Spain
  • 13 January 2012: UK