Coming on the heels of Lynne Ramsey's fantastic You Were Never Really Here is Alexandros Avranas's terrible Dark Crimes. The two films deserve to be compared because they deal with similar sexual violence and yet are on different sides of the spectrum of how to respectfully handle such disturbing subject matter. Where Ramsey only hints at the violence done to young girls, letting the viewer decide how much they need to fill in the gaps, Avranas shows it all with a particular emphasis on the misogynistic perversity of the acts themselves.
If it not clear yet, Dark Crimes is about underground sex rings. Jim Carrey plays Tadek, a former police officer who begins to ceaselessly pursue a cold case surrounding the murder of a man. Tadek lost his position by previously suggesting that the new chief of police was involved in a sex club that catered to extreme S&M. The cold case he is now investigating is connected to the same club but his focus is now on Kozlow (Marton Csokas), a novelist who seems to have written into his latest novel a surprisingly accurate amount of information about the murder.
Kozlow is a ridiculous creation of a pretentious author who thinks he is above everyone. Tadek is a trite creation of a hankering detective who seems to know nothing but how to be a detective. Csokas brings a little life to his character here, at least trying to chew the scenery a bit. Carrey is DOA. He plays Tadek with such rigidness as to completely wipe any life away from the character. His Polish accent is rough at best, Scottish sounding at its worst.
Dark Crimes wants to wallow in the depravity of underground sex ring it focuses on. There is a nagging sense that the filmmakers enjoy these moments a little too much. For instance, the film's opening is most stylish and yet full of chained up women, women being dragged on leashes, and tied up women. All the women are naked of course. Even if the mystery of the film was engaging, these moments would leave a bad taste in your mouth.