Enrico Saller’s 2023 thriller, The Dark Girl, presented Laura Faun (Katharina Scheuba) as a successful novelist who had penned a plethora of best-selling novels. Writing had always been her passion and hobby, even when she was a kid. She used to hide under her blankets for hours and scribble whatever came to her mind on a piece of paper. Her morning routine consisted of getting up every day, brewing a cup of nice coffee, and sitting down at her desk to work on her next novel. It was a habit Laura didn’t like to break. Laura was happy in her tranquil life, thanks to her friend, who would do anything for her. But things weren’t always the same for her, or “tranquil.” When a fan asked her to sign her last book, Das Gift, she was forced to take a trip down memory lane. Unfortunately, her memories were haunting, not delightful.
What Happened To The Smiths? Why Was Detective Berger Investigating Laura?
Back when Laura was a struggling author without any fame or notoriety, she wrote a novel titled Das Gift, which translated into The Poison in English. Her novel should have drawn fame and success, but instead, it put her under the police’s and people’s scrutiny. People looked at her with displease. In reality, the Smiths, one of the richest families in town and practically a second family to Laura while she was growing up, were murdered. They were poisoned, and in exactly the same manner as Laura described in her book. At first, it looked like a coincidence to her, but soon, it became clear that someone was using her book as a how-to guide for murder. Soon, things started to take a toll on her mind. Laura couldn’t focus on her work and was often distracted. In the time of her distress, her husband, Alex, stood by her like a rock.
People organized a masquerade party for Laura, and she attended it with a close friend of hers. But someone hijacked the party. While Laura was enjoying the party, dancing, and drinking, one of the guests fell dead on the floor. As expected, everyone turned their fingers at Laura. Detective Berger (Philippe Brenninkmeyer) showed up at her house, hoping to ask Laura some questions. He told Laura that the Smiths’ deaths weren’t natural and that someone murdered them in cold blood. Whoever murdered them also robbed them of their belongings. Berger was also the one investigating the death of a woman who died at the masquerade party. Berger suspected that the woman was also poisoned, like the Smiths. As per Berger, both deaths had one thing in common: Laura Faunn, the novelist. Whoever the perpetrator was, he was planning the murders according to Laura’s novel.
Who Was The Strange Girl At The Party? How Does Laura Know Amanda?
One could say Berger was relentless. He was fighting tooth and nail to find any evidence he could. His investigation brought him to the bouncer of the masquerade ball, who also worked in a bar. When Berger asked him if he had seen anything out of the ordinary or suspicious, he tried to act tough. However, his stance changed when Berger pushed his face against the table. The bouncer recounted the events of that night and told Berger that a strange woman was trying to get inside without an invitation. He stopped her, and she was gone all of a sudden. The girl was stalking Laura and knew everything about her, including her relationship with Alex. She also had a photograph of them on her phone. So, who was the woman? It was possible that she was Amanda (Tamara Roming), Laura’s only friend when she was living in an orphanage. They got separated when Laura was adopted by her foster parents. The wind chimes she hung outside Laura’s pavilion hinted at the same. Also, Laura felt that someone was stalking her, tailing her every move. Moreover, she was also knocked down in her garden by the same woman. Berger advised her to leave town for a while, at least till he had solved the case. Laura refused, saying she couldn’t leave now, especially while she was working on her next book. However, Laura believed that Berger’s showing up at his house right after she was attacked might not be a coincidence.
Who Killed Mike, Beatrice, And The Smiths?
Amanda showed up at Laura’s house and gave her a friendship bracelet that Laura gave her before she left the orphanage. Laura asked her to stay for dinner, but she refused, probably because of Alex. Laura hadn’t seen or heard from her for 15 years, and now she was suddenly at their house, recalling old memories. Meanwhile, Berger was spearheading the investigation, and another woman was killed. She was identified as Beatrice, Laura’s mentor. After Beatrice’s death, it was crystal clear that someone was targeting people who were close to Laura. First, the Smiths, and then Beatrice. This theory got even more cemented when Laura’s BFF, Mike, was poisoned in his cafe. Laura started to suspect Amanda and called her for a meeting.
At the dinner, Laura pulled a gun on Amanda, blaming her for all the murders that took place in the last month. Laura believed that Amanda was taking revenge for what she had done years ago. In reality, Laura’s foster parents wanted to adopt Amanda first, but Laura did something unforgivable. She stole the director’s watch and framed Amanda for it so she couldn’t get adopted. As a result, the couple adopted Laura instead of Amanda. But Amanda wasn’t the one behind all the murders. In reality, everything was Alex’s doing. He was the one who killed the Smiths, Beatrice, and Mike. But why? Alex grew up in the same neighborhood and was adopted by Laura’s foster parents before her. Sadly, they returned him because Alex was difficult. They gave them away because Alex wasn’t the one they were looking for. That was the reason why Alex wanted Laura to suffer like he did. Moreover, the gun Alex gave Laura was not loaded. Amanda knew about it but couldn’t tell Laura. This was why she left Laura’s house in haste, without having dinner. She was convinced that Laura would’ve never believed a word against her perfect husband. Alex tried to kill Laura, but Berger intervened and saved her life. Alex was arrested and sent to prison for all three murders. The movie relapsed back to the present, and we noticed Laura signing the same book, with Amanda now by her side.
There’s a thing about mystery thriller movies: they shouldn’t be predictable; if they are, they would entirely beat the purpose. The Dark Girl is no exception; it was entirely predictable right from the get-go. The movie desperately tried to pass Amanda off as the killer to fool us, but it didn’t work. We predicted she wasn’t the killer just a few minutes into the film. The film’s story also wasn’t anything we had ever seen: someone from the past, suspected to be the killer, wasn’t anything new. The Dark Girl has the same premise as hundreds of other mediocre mystery thrillers. It is digestible but definitely not entertaining or worthy of a second watch.