Visions of energy crisis and alien terror come together in 'The Darkest Hour', starring Emile Hirsch

Emile Hirsch plays one of several American tourists who find themselves in Moscow when the monsters arrive.

Emile Hirsch, who starred in 'Into the Wild,' will play one of the Americans startled by the alien invasion (WENN/Newscom).

Quite the diverse collection of extraterrestrials have invaded theaters over the past several months, haven’t they? Between the metallic Transformers, the sinister creatures in Cowboys & Aliens, and the… spiky balls with sharp teeth in Attack the Block, filmmakers have been forced to be inventive, when it comes to designing these other-worldly visitors.

In the trailer for this winter’s The Darkest Hour, we get an early look at one of the more unusual alien species to hit the big screen in recent memory: orange-glowing electrical waves.

The Darkest Hour revolves around a pretty familiar setup: a small group of people -- in this case, young Americans vacationing in Moscow -- struggle to stay together and survive, in the wake of a global takeover by hostile forces that hail from another world. As mentioned before, things get a little weird, with regards to what these “unfriendly visitors” look like.

RELATED: The wild west side: 'Cowboys & Aliens' and 'Attack the Block' face off

Check out the trailer for The Darkest Hour (via iTunes Movie Trailers) below:

Darkest Hour stars Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer), Olivia Thirlby (Juno), Rachel Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy), Joel Kinnaman (The Killing), and Max Minghella (The Social Network) as survivors of the aliens’ initial strike against Earth. Director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) produced the flick, which was helmed by Chris Gorak -- who worked in the art department on films like Fight Club and Minority Report before he first tried his hand at directing with the 2006 thriller, Right at Your Door.

The concept of energy-based aliens in Darkest Hour is intriguing enough, if only because of all the questions it raises about how these creatures’ abilities work (ex: Are there only certain forms of kinetic energy they can absorb?). Hopefully, most of those issues will be touched on in the movie, rather than just becoming potential plot holes.

Other than that, the Darkest Hour trailer make its look like a pretty standard alien invasion movie, complete with semi-hokey dialogue (“They came here with a plan!”) and fairly two-dimensional human characters. On the technical side, though, the visual effects (the aliens, disintegrating people, etc.) appear to be pretty convincing and the film looks to offer some picturesque visuals of Russia, looking like a barren metropolis wasteland, a la 28 Days Later, post-invasion. Take all that for what it’s worth.

The Darkest Hour will be released in 2D and 3D theaters in the U.S. on December 23rd, 2011.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers

RELATED: The wild west side: 'Cowboys & Aliens' and 'Attack the Block' face off


Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant

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