Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Kevin Bacon – Peter Taylor
David Mazouz – Michael Taylor
Radha Mitchell – Bronny Taylor
Lucy Fry – Stephanie Taylor
Blum. The creators behind Insidious and The Purge: Anarchy – two of my favourite horror / thriller movies of the last decade. But then they came up with some god-awful crap like The Visit and Sinister 2. Thing is, Blum seem to rise high with great stories, then come crashing down with tedious, cheap shots. I’ve mentioned the ‘Blum Scale’ previously, and I stand by it.
So, The Darkness. Placed on the scales of Blum to either balance nicely – or plummet horribly..
…what an absolute fucking disgrace of a movie.
Predictable storyline, insufferable characters, a hideous lack of tense action for the genre of movie it was.. the (s)hit list is endless. And the movie’s lack of budget is also painfully clear for all to see, with unfamiliar cast, scenes containing less action, more talking, and the incredibly simple filming locations. Now sometimes I’ll make an exception, embrace how brilliantly awful an awful movie is. I’ll absorb the cheap story, laugh at the hideous acting, etc. However, when taking The Darkness into account, this movie did absolutely nothing to deserve such respect from me. It failed in every sense to provide entertainment – good or bad.
My main observation of The Darkness is how badly it flows. About twenty minutes in when the family are back at home, a few strange things happen to them – but all in one go and without a break. The levels of dynamics are non-existant here as something ghostly happens, leading to something else happening not even a minute after, and then something else happens almost immediately after that. As though the director was splatting ink all over his drawing board, these strange – slightly scary – scenes flowed out of the screen in one pop. I didn’t like this.
In addition, The Darkness seemed disjointed; displaying scenes of family strife which seemed to trail off into soap opera land and took the focus off the main horror. For a good ten minutes you’re watching an argument break out between mother and daughter over the daughter’s lifestyle – which then spirals as it is discovered the daughter is bulimic. Cue screaming, crying and venting of frustration as both parents and daughter become emotional..
None of this had ANYTHING to do with the plot at all, a total distraction (the plot being four mystical stones taken from their resting place which begin to conjour spirits who cause trouble for a family).
Remember the days of VHS?
When you could record a movie from the television?
Where you had the ability to ‘tape over’ a recorded movie with a television programme?
This is what The Darkness was like; a movie that felt as though a soap opera had been recorded over the top halfway through. The atmosphere of horror was shattered as it became something else, of a genre completely different to how it began.
Oh, and the scene where Bronny and Stephanie have a massive fight is odd. They really go at each other screaming, with Stephanie even throwing punches at her mother.
Quite literally the next scene (less than a minute and a half later) they’re both stood in front of a mirror, giggling and applying makeup as if nothing happened.
I sat staring at the screen, confused but also very far from giving a shit.
Another negative is the fact this movie jumps back and forth between parents and child so much it’s hard to tell who exactly the director was wanting to focus on. It’s just awful, coupled with the fact no one seems to notice what is going on with young Mikey.
The kid sits in his bedroom literally chatting to ghosts – even his bedroom wall starts ‘bubbling’ as they try coming through to his dimension. Chatting, smoke, strange sounds.. does anyone notice?
Not even the neighbours get a look in.
It was starting to get late in the evening as I sat watching The Darkness and with the sheer lack of entertainment going on, I was about to walk out..
Whoever thought of this movie must have just watched Poltergeist the night before, and used it as inspiration. Because The Darkness is like a very cheap, ‘bargain basement’ version of the hit horror classic. A young child being stalked by ghostly beings is one thing – a few horrors contain this concept – but practically copying the end of a different movie is quite another.
At the end of the original Poltergeist, mother Diane fastens herself to a rope and enters the ‘light’ to get her daughter back. It’s an emotional ordeal, displaying how strong a mother’s love can be.
At the end of The Darkness, Peter leaves everything behind to enter a portal and cross over into the misty world his son has. A cheesy moment sees Mikey shout, “I’m not afraid!”, before the pair jump back through the portal and return home.
The Darkness isn’t just a recycled idea, but a total mess. It takes the Poltergeist theme and shits on it fantastically by crushing the idea into a pulp. It then takes the remnants of that pulp to create this – a poorly executed attempt at horror.
The only good part of The Darkness was a scene towards the end. It sees the spirits come through and enter the family home, with Stephanie attacked in the process. Hand prints (as shown in the trailer) appear on her bedroom wall and start pounding their way up it. And then, a close-up of her terrified face is shown.. before a hand print lands on her face. This made me jump slightly, it was brilliantly sinister.
..and then I calmed down as I realised what I was watching.
I’m sick of movies doing this. When a feature is completely awful all the way through – but one singular good thing happens that entertains me – before the movie returns to being awful. It’s weird. A movie has to be thoroughly entertaining in both story and performance, it can’t be unbearable to watch with one or two enjoyable minutes shoved in the middle or at the end.
Below is a screenshot of when I search The Darkness through Google.
(the 5% score on Rotten Tomatoes says it all).
With a child-like plot similar to that you’d find in the likes of the Harry Potter movies, a child actor who is quite irritating to look at, and irrelevant stories stemming from what should be the main feature, The Darkness is one to be avoided if you want genuine entertainment – and not the feeling of wanting to throw your television out the window.
I honestly wouldn’t sit my worst enemy in front of this movie.