From the Dark is better than its cover would lead you believe. Something that turned out very fortunate as it got the chance to surprise me. I’ve read a lot of bad reviews about this film, a stance that I do not agree with. While some of the complaints are valid, they’re also over inflated. Plus, I love low-budget films.
From the Dark opens with a farmer (Gerry O’Brien) in the Irish countryside collecting peat from his peat bog. He strikes something and pulls it free to see what it is. He tosses the old wooden stake aside and investigates further finding an old coffin containing a corpse. So he rushes home and returns with a flashlight. When he gets back the coffin is empty, he’s then attacked. He manages to escape the creature (Ged Murry), but is bitten on the neck. The film jumps back to earlier in the day. From this point the film follows Sarah (Niamh Algar) and her boyfriend Mark (Stephen Cromwell). After getting lost on the back roads the couple’s car gets stuck. Out of cell phone range and with night approaching Mark heads out to look for help on foot leaving Sarah with the car. Mark returns later, having found a farmhouse and the wounded farmer. He gets Sarah and the pair head back to help. When they arrive the previously well-lit farmhouse is dark, the lights smashed and the farmer missing. The creature attacks Mark and though he is saved by Sarah, he is wounded in the process. Sarah discovers the creature is hurt by light and the two try to wait out the morning. But after the creature sets a small fire in an oven to smoke them out…
The plot is super simple, but is very effective. Sure it doesn’t push any envelopes when it comes a vampire film. But I thoroughly enjoyed the creature as it’s always obscured in shadow, mostly only seen in silhouette. The creature comes off to me at least as an ancient vampire. An easy assumption since the farmer pulls that obvious stake out of the ground before everything goes sideways.
The main issues most people seemed to have with the film stem from two things. First is Mark becomes a whiner after he’s attacked. Well umm…. yeah he doe’s. But I expect that from characters who have the skin flayed off their leg. To me he actually came off as being in a large amount of pain. The second issue is that Sarah is constantly changing her plan and that she could have waited out sunrise on multiple occasions. I don’t agree here, but before I go on Spoilers. Mark changes into a vampire/creature. During said transformation he smashes out the lights. So no she couldn’t have as he would have gone hog-wild on her. However, I do agree that she could have set a smaller outbuilding on fire and that would have generated ample light to stay safe. She would just have to keep ahead of it should get out of control. Plus maybe someone would have noticed and call for help.
Final thoughts, the acting is OK. For me the accents really dialed it up for me. I liked the tiny cast and effective use of the creature. The cinematography reminds me more than a little of Nosferatu. which is one of my favorite vampire films. I also really loved the ambiguous ending and for a run time of ninety minutes never felt slow. So From the Dark gets a solid rating of 6.5/10.