“Darkness is very wise,” says Giancarlo Giannini's doctor during the climax of Jaume Balagueró’s ghost story Darkness. He must have been watching a different movie. Petulant American teenager Regina (Anna Paquin) and her dysfunctional family move to the Spanish countryside and into a haunted mansion that, unbeknownst to the new tenants, was constructed years earlier as a temple for unholy rituals. Soon enough, life in the house becomes kooky, from flickering lights and the appearance of child specters to young Paul (Stephan Enquist) receiving inexplicable neck bruises. Unfortunately for the mentally stable Regina, Dad (Iain Glen) is too crazy, and Mom (Lena Olin) is in too much denial about her clan’s problems, to pay much attention to the escalating supernatural events. Balagueró, withholding information in a vain attempt to create mystery and elicit (ultimately non-existent) scares, doesn’t waste time exploring the seemingly ripe theme of cultural dislocation, and his stranded performers – especially Paquin and Olin – seem confused about who their characters are. The underlit finale tries to rectify the horrifying tedium of the preceding hour-and-a-half with a dose of creepy fatalism. Yet aside from a picture of three aged, eye-less women that’s obsessed over by the family’s insane patriarch, there’s nothing very frightening about this shallow, stupid spookfest.