Pride Lands Online

The Ghost and the Darkness

This movie, based on the true life events which took place in Tsavo, Kenya in the year 1898, is done in an epic and supenseful thriller style. Val Kilmer plays Colonel John H. Patterson, an Irish/English bridge builder who was commisioned to construct a bridge over a river in Tsavo to better facilitate the British Empire's expansion into East Africa. Soon after construction begins, the camps are attacked by two powerful man-eating lions, later named by the natives as the Ghost and the Darkness. Michael Douglas plays a ex-American Civil War veteran turned professional hunter who is called in to 'deal with the local wildlife'.

This movie is definitely 'Jaws with Claws', as one reviewer put it. It's highly riveting and very scary, with more suggestive gore (eg. loud screams and suspenseful, feel-it-in-your-chest type music) than actual graphic scenes. The score, written by composing master Jerry Goldsmith, is magnificent and draws on the Irish as well as English, African and Hindu nuances to make it a fabulously gripping piece of music.

I understand that Douglas' role as the hunter was a liberty added to supposedly make the story flow better, but in truth, over 130 Hindu and African workers were killed. Almost prophetically appropriate, Tsavo means 'the place of slaughter' and even though some events look impossibly unrealistic, be assured that these lions were seemingly unstoppable. They truly were the demon lions of Tsavo--the Ghost and the Darkness.

I give it two very enthusiastic paws up. :)

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