The Darkness Movie Review
directors and studios to deliver on properly. For some reason these movies will often come off as trying too hard, or not hard enough, and very rarely are there any that are able to truly deliver on the terror. The Darkness is the latest attempt from Blumhouse Productions to do exactly that. But how well does the movie deliver? Let’s take a look.
The Darkness starts off rather slowly with the main characters on a family vacation in the American Southwest, namely in the area around the Grand Canyon. This is very important to note, since the supernatural threat is supposedly one that comes from the Native American tribes that are located in that area. In fact, the supposed mythos of the vanished Anasazi tribe plays a very large role in the overall story, and even attempts to provide a brief explanation as to why the Anasazi disappeared. This in and of itself is one of the things that drove me to come and see this movie. I just love horror movies that draw on alternative sources for their inspiration. Frankly, movies that are supposed to scare me should be more than simply another way of Bible thumping.
Kevin Bacon (The Following), and Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill) play Peter and Bronny Taylor two parents who are trying to puzzle out why their autistic son Michael, played by David Mazouz (Gotham), is becoming more and more violent. Added to the mix is the fact that their daughter Stephanie, played by Lucy Fry (11.22.63), is during this time is found to have a rather serious eating disorder, it seems like their once idyllic life is starting to unravel. Turns out, that the family picked up a few hitchhikers on their vacation a few months previous and that they are potentially living an ancient Anasazi prophecy. Needless to say, supernatural badness is breathing down the family’s neck and they are in need of some serious help.
This help is surprisingly offered by Peter’s boss, played by Paul Riser, who suggests that Peter contact a spiritualist that helped his family out years previously. Once the Taylor family received the contact information for this spiritualist, they were able to overcome the demons that are plaguing the family, both literally and figuratively. The Darkness quickly culminates in a series of events that strongly reminded me of the closing scenes of the classic horror movie, Poltergeist (the one with Craig T. Nelson, not the recent remake). In fact, many of the scenes seemed virtually identical to that classic movie.
Unfortunately, I would have to say that The Darkness generally misses the mark. Please be aware that this is not to say that it is not enjoyable, or that it doesn’t scare, since it does in fact have its moments. I would have to say, that is probably the biggest problem…it only has moments that are truly scary. The pacing of the movie is so off, the buildup so slow, that when the scares did begin, they often came across as a bit forced. In the end, the climax of the movie was overall too rushed, and all in all made one feel that it was simply not quite there. The Darkness was enjoyable, though it wasn’t very satisfying…7 out of 10. Definitely a good start for the horror years’ horror films and an enjoyable film, but by no means the best.