Dark is the Night

dark-was-the-night-posterDark was the Night was a let down to put it lightly. Riding on the high that was Storage 24, I was in the mood for another creature feature. Unfortunately in my rush to watch a monster stalk and kill people, I didn’t pay attention to the quality of the film I end up choosing. Not that Dark was the Night wasn’t terrible, it was however incredibly underwhelming. The film’s tense mood and good pacing just couldn’t offset the rest of the films subtle, but plentiful flaws. Beyond being a Creature Feature, Dark was the Night had another thing going for it to grab my attention, Kevin Durand. Durand’s one of those actors that I always notice when he shows up, but often have a hard time recalling his name.  I remember him most prominently as Barry Burton in Resident Evil: Retribution, a franchise that I have an undying love for.

Dark was the Night follows Paul Sheilds (Kevin Durand). Sheriff of the small town of Maiden Woods. Sheriff Sheilds having recently separated from his wife Susan (Bianca Kajlinch), and son Adam (Ethan Khusidman), over tensions resulting from the accidental death of the their other son has to uncover a mystery unfolding around his sleepy town. After waking up one morning with strange animal prints leading through town, the town feeling of apprehension worsens due to the sudden absence of animal life and encroaching storm. After a pair of hunters are killed by a deadly monster from town myth and the Sheriffs homes invaded,those still left in town take refuge in the old church…

Most of what I liked, which I will begrudgingly admit there are things here worth liking in this film is the Sheriff Sheilds. He feels very well-rounded and complex as a character and that’s something I really look for in a horror film. Kevin Durand shines when he’s in his element. Something monster fighting is not, which there’s remarkably little of in this film.

But what Dark was the Night lacks in monster brawls it makes more than makes up in tone. The tone of the film heavy and dark, touching on serious themes in some very real ways. Had they cut out the monster aspect of this film it would have been a more interesting film.

It feels strange disliking this film, because it has monsters. Which are undoubtedly the weakest part of this film. It’s not because of what they look like, which is a terrible CGI mess, but because they’re kind of boring. They use of them early on with just quick flashes, or just the evidence of their presence. But, all this is undercut when they finally move front and center. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what I got.

Final thoughts, as a drama Dark was the Night shines. But as a horror film underwhelming fits the bill pretty well. The acting and characters are great, although some are far weaker than others. It’s just this film didn’t work as a horror film and one that has left me considerably little to say about. 4/10

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