The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) Movie Review

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

1996 | R | Horror, Thriller, Drama, Action, Adventure
110 minutes /

User Score: 67/100

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The Ghost and the Darkness Review


A bridge engineer and an experienced old hunter begin a hunt for two lions after they start attacking local construction workers.

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) is a 1h 50-minute American historical adventure horror movie that was filmed in Tsavo National Park, Kenya; Songimvelo Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa and other parts of South Africa. Director Stephen Hopkins (Predator 2 (1990)) did a fantastic job creating the atmosphere in this film that is based on factual events. The two lions ate at least 35 people while wreaking havoc on the bridge project as Tsavo and they are displayed at the Field Museum.

Colonel John Henry Patterson (Val KilmerHeat (1995), Batman Forever (1995), Top Gun (1986), The Prince of Egypt (1998)) is an engineer that was hired to build a bridge across the Tsavo River in 1898 in East Africa. John’s reputation is known to most as a person you can depend on to finish a job on time regardless of the location, even in remote areas. John was in for a surprise as he was not prepared for his new task/job to be on the feeding ground for a pair of lions. He dispatches a lion with a bullet the day after he arrived when the lion attacked. His team/crew trust him after that incident which is good for John. The attacks began killing more people a few weeks later, but the lion cannot be easily killed as before, at least not with a single bullet.

Hunter Charles Remington (Michael Douglas - The Game (1997), Ant-Man (2015), Basic Instinct (1992), Falling Down (1993)) arrives to help since the death toll is rising. Charles brought along Samuel (John Kani - Captain America: Civil War (2016), The Wild Geese (1978), Coriolanus (2011)) who is the project liaison. One scene that I kept remembering was when the three men hunt the lions in the dark which was scary with the landscape covered with fog while hearing the sounds of the African night and the baboons.

A few of the action scenes appear clumsy, but we have to keep in mind that the movie is about 20 years old, and we are accustomed to seeing more visual appeals. The actors did an average and sometimes below average job with their performances which appear as though they were not trying or putting any effort in their roles. I caught myself sitting at the edge of my seat a few times, so the tension and excellent cinematography along with the fantastic atmosphere were a super bonus. The Ghost and the Darkness did a great job capturing the terror of the Tsavo lion attacks including the mythos about the man-eaters and the workers. The film was not as exciting as I thought it to be and was boring during certain scenes but the story was somewhat interesting making the movie an exceptional watch with everything else it has to offer.

About The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

Title: The Ghost and the Darkness
Year: 1996
Runtime: 110 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama, Action, Adventure
Score: 3 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.3/5 stars from 6 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 6
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Bernard Hill, Emily Mortimer, Michael Douglas, John Kani, Om Puri, Tom Wilkinson, Val Kilmer, Justin Gifford, George Middlekoop, Brian McCardie, Henry Cele, Kurt Egelhof, Satchu Annamalai, Teddy Reddy, Raheem Khan, Jack Devnarain, Glen Gabela, Richard Nwamba, Nick Lorentz, Alex Ferns, Kaycey Padayachee, Giles Masters, Patrick Gifford
Writers: William Goldman
Director: Stephen Hopkins

The Ghost and the Darkness Cover Poster Art