Director: Jaume Balagueró
Country of origin: Spain
Jaume Balagueró's Darkness is a textbook example of what-the-fuck cinema—as in, you'll constantly ask yourself, "What the fuck is going on here?" throughout its entire duration.
In 1999, the Spanish filmmaker earned respect at various film festivals with the supernatural chiller The Nameless, which attracted Hollywood types, specifically Academy Award-winning actress Anna Paquin. Three years later, she teamed up with Balagueró on Darkness, a haunted house movie about an American teenager who moves to Spain and inhabits a crib full of terrors.
Well, "terrors" in theory. By the time the already sloppy Darkness premiered in U.S. theaters on Christmas 2004, it'd been cut down and stupidly re-edited, rendering it an incoherent, dizzying mess of Mystery Science Theater 3000 proportions.
Give Balagueró tons of credit, though: He's since bounced back tremendously. He's one-half of the directorial team behind [REC] and [REC]2, two of the found-footage trend's best entries, and last year he quietly delivered a psychological thriller masterwork with Sleep Tight.