Major horror

Major horror
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Saturday, October 10, 2015

"Dark Was The Night" review (First Horror Movie Made that was written by Yoda)

Hello again Mortals. And hi Mom, thanks for reading! This week I have subjected myself to the streaming movie “Dark Was the Night” (aka “PretentiousWas the Title”). This is pretty much a direct to video creature feature. Which, of course, makes me think of my lovely mother once more.

This movie was directed by Jack Heller, who appears to have an awesome life. He is producing the soon to be released “Bone Tomahawk” horror-western staring Kurt Russel, he has directed some Miley Cyrus videos, and he does not appear to like being tied to a chair while I throw my toenail clippings at him- sour puss!
 Call me "Keamy". 

This was his second feature film and it was a good one. He clearly has a presence in the business, as he is able to capture some fairly well-known actors for a low budget film. The lead is played by Martin Keamy Kevin Durand. Durand is somehow the protagonist, which makes little sense, since one look into his cold dark eyes tells you that you are looking at a killer who feels nothing. 

In related news, Durand played a mercenary on Lost a little too well and whenever I see him in anything else, I can only see that psychopath Keamy. And I love it. 

However, since this roles does call upon him to kill SOMETHING, I can buy him as the lead. There is a subplot about his wife and him being separated and one of their sons having died. Probably because Keamy killed him. That’s what Keamy does, he kills your children. It’s a standard horror sub-plot that exists only to make you feel a little more dread. It would be nice if one of these films had a subplot about a character auditioning for a local production of Grease or something.

The other major role is played by Lukas Haas, the kid from Witness.

I like to watch. 
I love movies starring Haas, because it allows me to pretend that he is still playing that role from Witness and whatever movie he is in is actually a sequel to Witness. It usually works out that the movie could be a sequel. For a while I was wondering if the creature in the woods was actually Kelly McGillis- and frankly it could have been. Would have saved them the $50.00 they spent on CGI.

McGillis (This feels too mean)
So the movie….was well directed and well-acted. It couldn’t decide what tone it was going to take, whether it would be overly dark, or funny, and instead it settled for neither. It has a lot of comedic horror elements bubbling at the surface, that never got out.  The opening scene has Steve Agee, and the same producer as Bad Milo, so I was hoping for blood and laughter. Instead I got blood and a subplot about a dead kid. Which is pretty funny in and of itself, so I guess it was a push.

Heller uses a “Jaws"-like approach to the “creature”. We never get a really good look at it for the majority of the movie (which would be ideal for a Kelly McGillis role). The movie begins with some deep woods loggers (lead by Paul Agee) who encounter something sinister and hungry in the woods. The nearby town begins to experience strange occurrences, all of the animals leave the area, and the local production of Grease is cancelled. The local police, played by Haas and Durand, respond to a call about missing horses from a local rancher. They more or less imply that the rancher lost them. They seem annoyed that they were called in investigate a crime at all, because it might distract them from looking mournfully off camera for a moment.  

We're introspective! Please stop bothering us with crimes. 

Slowly but surely, sightings of the creature occur, footprints are found, and eventually a group of hunters are attacked and slaughtered. Because irony.

The film culminates with the entire town locked in a church as they prepare to fend off the attacks of this creature, which may or may not be the physical embodiment of an evil spirit. Because metaphor.

 The creature can be seen in fleeting glimpses, but it is mostly imagined after we are left looking at the carnage it leaves behind.

Despite my snark (which is not a reference to a demon penis. Or maybe it is…) this movie was very well shot and was quite enjoyable to watch. The director has cinematography skills and the decision to not showcase the creature directly (until the end) was a good one.   The climax of the movie takes place in a church and delivered a satisfying ending. Overall, I would give it three stars.

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