An intense psychological drama around four people in a remote country village. Maurice (Ray Barrett) and Ida (Brenda Blethyn) are on old married couple who've said all they have to say to each other decades ago. One neighbour is Murray Jacob (Richard Roxburgh), a lonely, intense man with a tragic past; the other is a late arrival, a young woman, Ronnie (Miranda Otto), who is six months pregnant and recently abandoned by her boyfriend. Something is killing the local animals, and Ronnie's pregnancy stirs up memories of the Stubbs' son's cot death. Fears and shadows play on their minds, making the four uneasy associates as animals are found disembowled around their houses.
In In The Winter Dark, Maurice and Ida Stubbs, Ray Barrett and Brenda Blethyn, have eked out a living on their dilapidated property for more than thirty years; but they`ve never recovered from the death, in tragic circumstances, of their baby son a long time ago. In other parts of the valley are a couple of lonely characters: Laurie, Richard Roxburgh, an outcast who spends his days wandering seemingly aimlessly and his nights listening to Jim Reeves records, and Ronnie, Miranda Otto, a pregnant, abandoned hippie. What draws this unlikely quartet together is the mystery of Something out there in the dark - something that attacks animals .
This handsome, impressive adaptation of Tim Winton`s book explores both the people and the landscape of a lonely, mysterious, threatening environment. Its characters are seriously disturbed, all of them haunted by inner demons, while nearby something unexplained and evil is lurking. A similar theme was explored in William Wellman`s powerful 1955 drama Track Of The Cat, but In The Winter Dark`s director James Bogle brings a fresh, modern approach to this psychological thriller. He also gets magnificent performances from his four players. Ray Barrett`s Maurice represents some of his best work on the screen; Miranda Otto and Richard Roxburgh convince in rather thinly-written roles; Brenda Blethyn, who has been prone to overplaying in the past, is controlled and touching as the grieving Ida. In The Winter Dark, stunningly shot by Martin McGrath, is an intense, intelligent movie.