May 18, 2016

Movie Review: The Darkness (2016)

Have you heard of this movie The Darkness? I saw the trailer for it a few times, but it is not a movie that ever stuck in my head. Every time it played, it was like I was seeing it for the first time. That is not really a good thing. In any case, it is now in theaters all over the country and I did go and see it. While it is far from the worst thing I have ever seen, I feel like my time may have been better served elsewhere. This is a movie made on a low budget where very little happens by a studio hoping to squeeze out a little money from the unsuspecting audience. I am sure the creative believe in it, but the finished product is just not very good.

Besides not having a very memorable trailer, here is something else I found amazing, the cast. Now, I did not do any research beforehand, but when your film features Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell, plus having Paul Reiser in a supporting role, why was this not used as a selling point? I think I would have noticed Kevin Bacon in a trailer, somehow I did not. It was great seeing him on the big screen, I wish it was better material. Last year’s Cop Car should have gotten the release that this did.

The Darkness was directed by Greg McLean and is something I would normally consider to be a good thing, considering his filmography, which includes the two Wolf Creek films and Rogue. He has made some brutal horror films and one would have hoped that would be brought over with him. Instead, what we get is a watered down supernatural horror, a good director sucked into the Hollywood horror machine, churning out derivative dull product. The screenplay was turned in by McClean, who worked with the team of Shayne Armstrong and Shane Krause who also wrote the shark in a supermarket movie, Bait.

What is the movie about? I think the best way to describe it is as a Poltergeist wannabe. It starts off with a couple of families out near the Grand Canyon, hiking and camping. One couple have an autistic son and he accidentally crashes through a thin rock floor and finds a hidden Native American room with some strange marked stones. Being the curious sort, he takes the stones home with him. This proves to be a bad idea. He starts to play with the stones at his home and things begin to happen. Strange things.

Of course, the strange occurrences coincide with some marital problems that are tearing the family apart. So, as you can guess, the stuff happening in the house and affecting the kids brings the family together so they can fend off the forces of darkness. Unfortunately, none of it really matters as we never really get to know or care about the characters, learn much about what is going on, or even care about why. I was just glad when it was over.

The Darkness is not a very good film, it has some interesting ideas to work with, but it never goes anywhere. There is nothing to really get hooked on or be scared of or pretty much anything. It is sort of there as a limp product, a space holder at the theater until something better comes along.

Not Recommended.

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