Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Joy Carter From The Darkness Looks So Familiar

The desire to inject some good old-fashioned distraction by entertainment into the so far non-existent summer movie season has pushed film lovers all over the world to scour the streaming and VOD realms for movies that might fill the bombastic void. That cinematic treasure hunt has also led many viewers to show some serious love to a handful of films from the past that have fallen by the cinematic wayside. 

One of the more recent flicks to find some unexpected love in streaming land is the Kevin Bacon-fronted supernatural thriller The DarknessReleased in May of 2016, The Darkness was met with an intensely negative critical response, and failed to find any sort of audience in its less-than-desirable pre-summer release slot. The film — which follows a family who, after returning from a Grand Canyon getaway, find themselves tormented by an evil ancient spirit which has followed them home.  

Clearly, The Darkness isn't out to re-invent the horror game, as that "malevolent spirits" setup has been done to death. The Darkness does, however, feature some genuinely chilling moments, and should be of particular interest to the horror set. For one thing, it was directed by Greg McLean, the twisted mind behind recent genre gems like Wolf Creek and Rogue. 

It also features a surprisingly solid cast, fronted by and Radha Mitchell and supported by a handful of faces that will seem more than familiar to viewers. Chief among them will be the actor who portrays one of the family's friends, Joy Carter. Her name is Jennifer Morrison, and she's been more than visible on screens big and small in recent years. Here's why Joy Carter from The Darkness looks so familiar. 

Jennifer Morrison cast an enchanting spell in Once Upon A Time

For fans of ABC's long-running fantasy-drama Once Upon a Time, Jennifer Morrison will likely need no introduction, because the actor spent the bulk of of the series' seven seasons as one of the central players in a talented ensemble cast.

Set largely in the fictional town of Storybrooke, Maine, Once Upon a Time mined the worlds of Disney, Western folklore, and Greek mythology to assemble its cast of characters, then magically transported each into a real world environment where their fantastical selves are often at odds with their real world personas. That's probably an over-simplification of the Once Upon a Time narrative, which really was quite convoluted at times. All you really need to know is that as the series progressed, it provided its cast members the chance to portray wildly different versions of their characters, sometimes in the real world, and other times in far more magical realms.

Morrison portrayed Emma Swan, who also went by the aliases "The Savior," "The Dark One," and "Princess Emma," among others. She began her run on Once Upon a Time as a Boston-based bail bonds agent, but it was quickly revealed that she was, in fact, the only child of Snow White and Prince Charming. That fact naturally made her the only person capable of breaking the decades-long curse that transported the fantasticals into Storybrooke to begin with. 

Like we said, the Once Upon a Time narrative was often quite convoluted. It was just as frequently tons of fun, with Morrison's duplicitous work as Emma Swan ranking among the series' best.

Jennifer Morrison wasn't quite maternal enough on How I Met Your Mother

Jennifer Morrison's television resume is quite impressive, for the record. In 2010, the actor added a particularly noteworthy credit to her small screen oeuvre with a recurring gig on what was then one of the hottest series on television.

That series was ABC's smash hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother, which followed a group of New York 30-somethings in their various personal and romantic entanglements. The series was framed by the lead character's older self (Josh Radnor's Ted, as voiced in the narration by Bob Saget) using the stories to tell his own children of his meeting their mother. Jennifer Morrison turned up on How I Met Your Mother in the show's sixth season. And yes, her character Zoey was one of the potential mothers in question.

As for Zoey's run as potential mother to Ted's kids, it lasted longer than most. It was also one of the more complicated relationships in Ted's unwieldy saga. A fiery activist, Zoey and Ted are initially on opposing sides of the fray revolving around the destruction of a classic hotel. They become friendly, however, and each develops romantic feelings, in spite of the fact that Zoey is married to the Captain (Kyle MacLachlan). The pair eventually get together after Zoey's uncoupling from the Captain. 

Though her time on the show was relatively limited (she appeared in 13 episodes total, including the finale), Morrison still made a dramatic impact on How I Met Your Mother's overarching narrative, with her Zoey remaining one of the more intriguing "what-ifs" in Teds story.

Jennifer Morrison gave birth to a Starfleet icon in 2009's Star Trek

Though she's certainly made her mark on the TV landscape, Jennifer Morrison hasn't had quite as much success in her big screen ventures. While recent appearances in the 2018 indie Assassination Nation and 2019's Oscar-nominated journalistic dramas The Report (opposite Adam Driver) and Bombshell (alongside Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie) have certainly helped bolster Morrison's cinematic profile, her most memorable big screen turn came in the reboot of the iconic sci-fi saga Star Trek.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, 2009's Star Trek follows the early days of the original series characters James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the rest of the U.S.S. Enterprise's fabled crew. And by early days, we mean early, as in the film essentially begins with the birth of Captain Kirk himself and picks up his story years later when he's on the verge of sinking his own Starfleet career before it even begins. 

Not surprisingly, the legendary Starfleet Captain's birth is as fraught with peril as his career would eventually become. In fact, the birth comes amid a deadly attack on the U.S.S. Kelvin by a fierce Romulan foe — an attack which leaves Kirk's own father making the ultimate sacrifice to save his wife and newborn son. Jennifer Morrison, of course, played the part of Captain Kirk's mom, Winona. While she didn't have a ton of screen time in the film, Morrison still managed bring some serious emotion to one of the most important moments in the history of Trek-dom.

Jennifer Morrison carried a torch for the titular tyrant on House

Like many youngsters navigating the complex world of Hollywood, Morrison spent her early years fronting slasher flicks (Urban Legends: Final Cut) and appearing in small screen teen dramas (Dawson's Creek). Morrison's big break came a little quicker than most, however, and came with what was essentially her first legitimately grown-up role. 

It also came in one of the more critically-lauded TV shows of the 2000s. Said program was Fox's marvelously unorthodox medical drama House. The series focused on the cantankerous titular doctor (a never-better Hugh Laurie), a tyrannical genius who, with the help of a crack team of up-and-coming doctors, left no stone unturned in his quest to correctly diagnose any and every mysterious medical calamity that came his way. 

Dr. House's crack diagnostic team featured a full compliment of talented young actors. Jennifer Morrison was among them, portraying the kind-hearted immunologist Dr. Allison Cameron over the early seasons of House before exiting midway through season 6. En route to that exit, Cameron frequently proved the moral center of the series, with Morrison brilliantly playing the role with equal parts wide-eyed idealism and a world-weary angst.

As Dr. Cameron was the only woman on House's original hand-picked team of medical superstars, she was also at the center of some of the show's more complicated amorous entanglements; chiefly her romance with, eventual marriage to, and separation from the affable Dr. Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer). She also carried a serious torch for the not-so-good Dr. House for the entirety of her run, providing the series with one of the more compelling "will they or won't they" relationships in TV history.