George Romero, the father of the horror genre, is probably turning in his grave – with all its unprecedented power to attract viewers in the cinemas, the genre is flying down the road in terms of quality. Once in a while a gem happens – like this year’s The Witch, yet majority of them look exactly like The Darkness. Dull, predictable and with tons of wasted potential. Hello darkness my old friend huh?
An American family goes camping in the Grand Canyon (isn’t that somehow prohibited?) with their autistic son Michael (David Mazouz), who accidentally finds an entrance to a secret temple of an Indian tribe. He steals five sacred rocks, which serve as soul gems for horrid, malefic creatures known in the old tales. The boy then becomes a psychic and a bridge for the evil to enter his family’s home.
On paper, The Darkness‘ creators looked up to some succesful stories from the past – the Indian curses casting a shadow on a family worked out great in Amityville, the creepy children are always a good choice for a horror film (Omen anyone?), whilst getting Kevin Bacon on board guaranteed a marketing leverage. What’s more, there are squeaky doors, hollow sounds in the house, shadowy figures appearing from nowhere – everyting’s checked. Despite all that, The Darkness is a miserable failure.
Greg McLean, the director of the film, couldn’t really define whether he was interested in a soap opera about parents struggling with pretty weird kids (one is autistic, second one is obsessed with her body and pukes into plastic boxes, which she later hides under her bed…), a thriller or a horror. What’s more, there is no chemistry between Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell whatsoever, the plot is immensely chaotic, whilst the ending was supposedly one of the worst the writers could come with. To be honest, the only feature that did work out, was the creepy music composed by Johnny Klimek. Nonetheless, that is a very unsatisyfing “making up” for our losses.
And it was not an enjoyably bad horror to be honest – it’s that kind of film where you wonder: why was it directed? We won’t know the answer, but at this point, I’m even too afraid to ask. Let’s just hope that Kevin Bacon will read the script before signing up for any film next time. Or finds another way to pay his debts.
UMP Grade: 18/50
(Cinematography: 4, Plot: 3, Acting: 3, Soundtrack: 5, Quaintness: 3)