10 Movies That Are Literally Too Dark (2022)

A common complaint with some movies is that they can be too dark for their own good. This, however, isn't referring to their atmosphere or tone, but to the fact that these movies are literally so dark that it's difficult to see what's going on.

If this isn't the fault of an understandable but misguided creative choice, it's the fault of questionable cinematography. Though some movies actually make good use of their endless darkness, others suffer greatly for it.

10 Pitch Black Lived Up To Its Title's Promise

10 Movies That Are Literally Too Dark (1)

In David Twohy's Pitch Black, the survivors of the downed spaceship Hunter-Gratzner find themselves on a barren planet with a seemingly endless night. The night hid the monsters that neither survivors nor audiences could properly see, and even Riddick's night vision could only visualize things up to a point. That being said, this was the filmmakers' intention.

Since it was made at a time when CGI was still rough, Pitch Black was at its best when it obscured its monsters with shadows. This wasn't a bad thing, since it gave the movie a unique look that compensated for its shortcomings. Pitch Black's darkness was so good that it was replicated in the soft reboot Riddick, though fans still regard the first movie as superior.

9 The Descent Dragged Its Cast And Audiences Into The Caves' Darkness

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As seen in his debut movie Dog Soldiers and Game of Thrones' Battle of the Blackwater, director Neil Marshall has a knack for maximizing darkness. That being said, The Descent is by far the best display of his skills at work because it used a labyrinthine cave system's natural darkness to deliver some of the most frightening scenes ever seen in a horror movie.

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Without their camera, fire, and flashlights, Sarah's group (and audiences) could barely see what lay before them - let alone see the cannibalistic dwellers who hunted them in the caves' darkest recesses. Thanks to this unrelenting darkness, The Descent cemented its legacy as one of the best and most terrifying horror movies of the 2000s.

8 Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Obscured The Kaiju Too Much

In some clear ways, Michael Dougherty's Godzilla: King Of The Monsters was a direct response to the polarizing Godzilla (2014). For one, the sequel addressed the previous movie's lack of monsters by giving Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan tons of screen time. That said, the sequel still repeated some of the first movie's mistakes.

While the four main Titans were fully shown, they blended too well with their poorly lit scenes. At best, they were sporadically lit by environmental hazards, like atomic breath or lightning. The poor visibility hampered the otherwise improved sequel, which could've been "great" instead of "fine" if it were as clear as the succeeding Godzilla Vs. Kong.

7 Doom's Lighting Was Inspired By The Least Popular Doom Game

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Andrzej Bartkowiak's live-action adaptation of the iconic Doom got a lot of things wrong, but one of its worst missteps was its terrible lighting. Not only were the Martian laborites unreasonably dark, but most of the monsters were hidden in the shadows. This made it difficult to appreciate or even see the kills. All of this could partially be blamed on Doom 3.

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Doom 3 was the series' failed attempt to reboot the adrenaline-pumping shooter to a creeping survival horror, and iD Software used its footage to pitch a Doom movie to financiers. Combine this with the producers wanting the demons to be replaced with mutants for religious reasons, and Doom's poorly lit monster scenes make more sense.

6 Solo: A Star Wars Story's Already Dark Cinematography Was Worsened By Bad Projection

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Ron Howard's Han Solo prequel had a lot of things going against it, but one of its most unexpected hindrances was accusations of terrible cinematography and lighting. According to audiences who watched Solo in cinemas, the movie was too dark, dirty, and ugly to comprehend. This, however, wasn't entirely the filmmakers' fault.

As it turns out, most modern theaters are equipped with automated projectors, meaning they didn't calibrate their output to meet Solo's specific lighting requirements. While this may explain some of Solo's most underlit scenes, it still doesn't explain cinematographer Bradford Young's decision to go a bit too overboard in terms of dark and moody lighting.

5 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Took Hogwarts' Darkest Hour Too Literally

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Starting with Goblet Of Fire, the Harry Potter movies gradually got darker. This didn't only take shape in Voldemort's return, but in the visuals as well. Each succeeding movie had less color and brightness than the last, to the point where David Yates' Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was so dark that the series finale was almost unwatchable.

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Deathly Hallow: Part 2's worst lit moment was the Death Eaters and wizards' climactic nighttime clash where the only things that could be seen were the wizards' magic bolts. Even simple conversations in Hogwarts' halls or the Forbidden Forest were too dark to appreciate, which makes Harry and Dumbledore's bright reunion in the afterlife all the more jarring.

4 Zack Snyder's Justice League Was Too Dark In Terms Of Visuals And Story

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Zack Snyder's filmmaking style has become synonymous with excessively dark and brooding storytelling, but these adjectives apply to his visual preferences as well. For better and worse, Snyder's dark aesthetic was seen at its most unrestrained in his founding DC Extended Universe (DCEU) movies, especially in his uncut Justice League.

The Snyder Cut'sdaytime scenes were devoid of color and life, and those set at night or in dim locations had close to no visibility. At best, background explosions or the League's superpowers marginally brightened and cleared things up. To Snyder's credit, his distinctly dark style fit the movie better than the theatrical cut's over-saturated scheme.

3 Godzilla (2014) Angered Fans By Having More Shadows Than Kaiju

Despite being leagues above Roland Emmerich's critically-maligned interpretation, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla disappointed viewers who wanted to see giant monsters on the big screen. When it wasn't cutting away from the Titans or hiding them behind debris, Godzilla shrouded them in so much darkness that even their silhouettes were barely visible.

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Edwards did this to emphasize the Titans' similarities to natural disasters while harkening back to the original 1954 Godzilla's focus on collateral damage, but it was still frustrating to watch. Godzilla always had limited screen time, but this was done for budgetary reasons and not because the movie seemed embarrassed to be a monster movie.

2 The Batman Is Literally The Dark Knight's Darkest Movie

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As far as Batman movies go, Matt Reeves's The Batman has been hailed by fans as the darkest Batman movie to date. However, this description doesn't only apply to the reboot's oppressive atmosphere or brutal aesthetic, but to its visuals as well. At times, The Batman can get so dark that it's difficult to see what's happening.

The Batman is devoid of colors or lights, even during scenes that are set in the daytime. This darkness worked whenever Batman emerges from the shadows like a nocturnal monster, but it becomes a hindrance during fights that are so poorly lit that they border on being undecipherable or conversations that are dark for the wrong reasons.

1 Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem Is Almost Impossible To Watch

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One of the worst things about Alien Vs. Predator was its PG-13 rating, which didn't fit a crossover movie for two famously bloodthirsty aliens. The Strause brothers' Requiem seemed to take this criticism to heart because it was R-Rated. However, the promise of more gore was pointless since the kills were too dark to enjoy or see.

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Most of Requiem took place at night, making the nonexistent visibility even harder to endure. In fact, the sequel's cinematography has been cited as one of the all-time worst. Besides poor creative choices, it's possible that a lack of a lighting budget may be at fault here.

FAQs

Why some movies are too dark? ›

Many projectors are not well maintained and even 4K resolution can fall flat. But ultimately, the reason a movie or series seems super dark is that it's how the filmmaker intended it to look.

Why are today's movies so dark? ›

The rise of digital cameras replacing film has made lighting a very different job for cinematographers on set. You get to instantaneously see what images look like in the camera, and when you work on the project in post, there isn't some complicated way to make images darker.

What is considered the most disturbing movie? ›

Sickest, Most Grotesque, and Disturbing Films
  • # 1. THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. Wes Craven 1972.
  • # 2. THE ANGELS' MELANCHOLIA. Marian Dora 2009.
  • # 3. CANNIBAL. Marian Dora 2006.
  • # 4. SINGAPORE SLING. Nikos Nikolaidis 1990.
  • # 5. BEGOTTEN. E. ...
  • # 6. SALÒ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM. ...
  • # 7. THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. ...
  • # 8. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE.

Why is the great so dark? ›

It's a stark difference from the crystal clear, backlit episodes of the show's first series. In part, the change is down to a shift in tone throughout the show: as the subject matter has grown ever darker, so has the way it's presented. “The showrunners decided that this had to be a dark episode,” says Wagner.

How dark is the Batman? ›

Unofficially, the movie might have also set a new standard for the darkest superhero blockbuster ever made. Almost 100% of the movie plays out at night. Robert Pattinson's vigilante superhero does his job in heavy rain, dim rooms and a nightclub resembling a bunker.

Why is Harry Potter movie so dark? ›

Voldemort was at the height of his power, Hogwarts was drained of its spirit, and the golden trio was on a dangerous quest that tested their physical, emotional and mental limits. So it makes sense why the visuals are dark and depressing.

Why are all Netflix movies so dark? ›

A simple adjustment to your Netflix settings and you're done. Netflix shows that are mastered using the new HDR (High Dynamic Range) format will not play well on a lot of smart phones, tablets and TVs. They will look too dark.

What was the first color movie? ›

The first commercially produced film in natural color was A Visit to the Seaside (1908). The eight-minute British short film used the Kinemacolor process to capture a series of shots of the Brighton Southern England seafront.

Why are Netflix films so dark? ›

Your TV's picture or power saving settings may be causing Netflix to appear dark or dim. Contact your device manufacturer for help adjusting these settings.

What is the darkest movie ever made? ›

Our Top 15 Darkest Movies Of All Time [Updated 2022]
  • Requiem for A Dream (2000)
  • The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011)
  • Oldboy (2003)
  • Precious (2009)
  • Antichrist (2009)
  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
  • Martyrs (2008)
  • A Serbian Film (2010)
26 Jan 2022

Which movie has the most violence? ›

Most violent movies
  • Faces of Death (1978) ...
  • Eden Lake (2008) ...
  • Evil Dead (2013) ...
  • The Beyond (1981) R | 87 min | Horror. ...
  • The Hills Have Eyes (2006) R | 107 min | Horror, Thriller. ...
  • The Hunt (II) (2020) R | 90 min | Action, Horror, Thriller. ...
  • Revenge (II) (2017) R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Thriller. ...
  • Nekromantik (1988)

What's the most traumatizing movie ever? ›

A List Of The Most Disturbing Films
  • ReGOREgitated Sacrifice (2008) TV-MA | 65 min | Horror. ...
  • August Underground (2001 Video) Unrated | 70 min | Horror. ...
  • Martyrs (2008) ...
  • Slaughtered Vomit Dolls (2006 Video) ...
  • A Serbian Film (2010) ...
  • The Girl Next Door (2007) ...
  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) ...
  • Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Why are 4K movies so dark? ›

4K looks dark because the high pixel density blocks the backlight more than lower resolutions. Most TV and monitor screens use an LED backlight to illuminate the pixels that form the image. Since a 4K screen has a high pixel count, it's hard for the backlight to illuminate the image effectively.

Why is TV so dark? ›

In most cases, it has been found that a TV screen is too dark because of the power saving mode being turned on. By default, the power saving mode may be on, which causes the brightness of the screen to decrease. You can fix the issue simply by turning off the power saving mode.

Why are prime movies so dark? ›

So why are Amazon's 4K shows so dark? One possible cause for the issue is that Amazon's streaming app has only one setting for 4K: 'HDR Standard. ' Netflix, however, offers three settings for 4K: Standard, Bright Room and Vivid. This permits the user to choose a brighter image if desired.

Is The Batman horror? ›

And a relentlessly bleak film noir. Most of all, though, The Batman is a horror movie. In 1989, pearl-clutching parents were shocked and appalled by Tim Burton's Batman.

Is Batman too violent? ›

The movie's action violence is intense, with killings and dead bodies, guns and shooting, explosions and crashes, lots of fighting (punching, kicking, hitting with objects, choking, etc.), a severed thumb, violence against women, descriptions of upsetting events, and more.

Why is Batman so strong? ›

Between Batman/Superman issue 28-33, Batman became exposed to the Blackrock symbiote. The exposure gave him the power to fly, as well as super strength, super durability, and the ability to absorb and project energy.

Why is the Prisoner of Azkaban so dark? ›

This is already a pretty dark storyline — and Sirius' story turns out to be something else entirely — but according to Cuarón, the darkness is also meant to represent Harry's mental growth as he turns thirteen. "'Azkaban' is a coming of age," Cuarón explains in the special.

Did Harry Potter get darker? ›

From the first few movies' light browns and pastels, the frames gradually become darker and more green as Harry's journey gets more serious and the stakes get higher. The trend is only broken by one streak of white right at the end.

Why is the Half Blood Prince movie so GREY? ›

The movie deliberately steers clear from the warmer, more vibrant hues that have pretty much been a staple since Chris Columbus opened the franchise with The Sorcerer's Stone. Instead, metallic washes of color make The Half-Blood Prince appear either steely or softly sepia-toned, depending on how a scene is set up.

Why is Disney plus so dark? ›

It's likely you'll run into this content on most major streaming services. This is because HDR content (like 4K shows) is designed to harness the full spectrum of brightness of a modern TV set. That is, darker colours are meant to be very dark, while brighter colours are meant to be very bright.

What is the best movie to fall asleep to? ›

The 10 Best Movies To Fall Asleep To
  • Mean Girls (2004) 66 % 7.1/10. ...
  • Pineapple Express (2008) Trailer. 64 % ...
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) 83 % ...
  • (500) Days of Summer (2009) 76 % 7.7/10. ...
  • Interstellar (2014) 74 % ...
  • The Wedding Singer (1998) Trailer. ...
  • Avatar (2009) Trailer. ...
  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (1981) 85 %
6 Oct 2021

Is it better to watch movies in the dark? ›

You'll generally have a better experience if you watch movies in a dark room as your TV's picture quality in dark scenes will look better and have fewer reflections. You should be looking for a TV that can deliver deep blacks, has rich colors and bright highlights, especially if you watch a lot of HDR content.

What is the very first horror movie? ›

The best known of these early supernatural-based works is the 3-minute short film Le Manoir du Diable (1896), known in English as both "The Haunted Castle" or "The House of the Devil". The film is sometimes credited as being the first ever horror film.

What was the first horror movie in color? ›

The resulting film, The Curse of Frankenstein (d. Terence Fisher, 1957), was the most important horror film since Universal 's Dracula (US, d. Tod Browning, 1931). Its contemporary impact was immense; it was the first horror film in colour, and its critical reception was savage.

What was the 1st film ever made? ›

1888. In Leeds, England Louis Le Prince films Roundhay Garden Scene, believed to be the first motion picture recorded.

Why does Netflix lower my brightness? ›

If your battery level is low or you are using the power mode on your device to save battery power for as long as possible, it will automatically lower the brightness level for maximum energy efficiency. You need to turn it off from Device Settings – Battery – Power Mode while using the Netflix app.

How do you make dark scenes look better on TV? ›

Setting your TV's brightness level too high will make the blacks areas lighter, which can make the image look “washed out.” Setting your brightness level too low will make the image totally dark. So, the best option is to leave your TV's brightness level at the default level or set it to 50%.

Why is my Netflix color weird? ›

Restart your device

Unplug your device from power. Press the power button on the device once and wait 1 minute, or leave it unplugged for 3 minutes instead. Plug your device back in. Turn your device on and try Netflix again.

Why are 4K movies so dark? ›

4K looks dark because the high pixel density blocks the backlight more than lower resolutions. Most TV and monitor screens use an LED backlight to illuminate the pixels that form the image. Since a 4K screen has a high pixel count, it's hard for the backlight to illuminate the image effectively.

Why are Netflix movies so dark? ›

Scroll down to Playback Settings” Select “Medium” or “low”. If “Auto” or “High” is selected Netflix may playback in HDR. This Is what is causing the darkness on monitors and devices that don't support HDR.

Why are prime movies so dark? ›

So why are Amazon's 4K shows so dark? One possible cause for the issue is that Amazon's streaming app has only one setting for 4K: 'HDR Standard. ' Netflix, however, offers three settings for 4K: Standard, Bright Room and Vivid. This permits the user to choose a brighter image if desired.

Why are DC movies so dark? ›

Well, Its to set them apart from MCU(in a way), Kind of the reason why Zack Snyder directed most of the DCEU movies recently. But the truth is, DC has always had Noir elements to it. There are various storylines in the 80s onwards which showed a dark and gritty universe with the grim realities of being a superhero.

Why is Disney plus so dark? ›

It's likely you'll run into this content on most major streaming services. This is because HDR content (like 4K shows) is designed to harness the full spectrum of brightness of a modern TV set. That is, darker colours are meant to be very dark, while brighter colours are meant to be very bright.

Why is TV so dark? ›

In most cases, it has been found that a TV screen is too dark because of the power saving mode being turned on. By default, the power saving mode may be on, which causes the brightness of the screen to decrease. You can fix the issue simply by turning off the power saving mode.

What TV is best for dark scenes? ›

(Sony and others buy OLED panels from LG.) LG OLED TVs are better for a simple reason: they light up pixel by pixel. They don't have a backlight, so when you see black areas of the screen, they're as black as possible. This means excellent contrast—perfect for darker scenes in The Mandolorian.

Why does Netflix lower my brightness? ›

If your battery level is low or you are using the power mode on your device to save battery power for as long as possible, it will automatically lower the brightness level for maximum energy efficiency. You need to turn it off from Device Settings – Battery – Power Mode while using the Netflix app.

How do you make dark scenes look better on TV? ›

Setting your TV's brightness level too high will make the blacks areas lighter, which can make the image look “washed out.” Setting your brightness level too low will make the image totally dark. So, the best option is to leave your TV's brightness level at the default level or set it to 50%.

How do I lighten the screen on Netflix? ›

To use that, play a video on Netflix. Then, tap on the screen once to show the controls such as play, pause, subtitles, etc. You will see a slider on the left side. Slide it up or down to manually control the brightness, i.e., increase or decrease the brightness.

Why is my Apple TV so dark? ›

What is this? Most TVs aren't that good at handling HDR content. This may be why Apple TV movies look too dark on your end. If you're currently using an LED TV, switching the settings on your Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K to “SDR” mode may help.

Why is HDR dark? ›

I found an article that explains how a lot of HDR TVs can't actually reproduce the extra bright levels called for, and the tone-mapping that's used to compensate would explain why everything looks darker.

Why is my LG TV so dark? ›

If your LG TV's screen is too dark or the brightness keeps changing, the problem is the Energy Saving mode setting. By default, LG sets the Energy Saving to Auto, which means that the TV will automatically adjust the screen brightness depending on the ambient light it senses. This will save you energy usage.

Which one is darker Marvel or DC? ›

DC storylines are darker and edgier than Marvel, making them much more compelling. Darker storylines are more challenging to the viewer because often, the characters face uncomfortable truths and realities which challenge their views and ideals.

Is Marvel darker than DC? ›

Even in the comics, DC is not inherently darker than Marvel outside of the realm of Batman. Characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League, and the Teen Titans are far from what could be considered dark.

Can DC beat Marvel? ›

From magic-users to Kryptonians to the Flash Family, Marvel can't match DC's power, and even the mutants would fall against a concerted assault by just a team of Flashes. It would be a universe-shaking battle that fans would love to see, but in the end, DC is walking away as the victor.

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