Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Film Review: The Darkness (2016)

The Darkness (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
 *A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review

"I give it credit for being competently-made and watchable, but it's just not very entertaining."

A family returns from a trip to the Grand Canyon, haunted by a malevolent entity...

The Darkness is a by-the-books horror film – to a fault. The story follows the Taylor family: Peter (Kevin Bacon), the flawed father, Bronny (Radha Mitchell), the annoyed housewife, Stephanie, the obnoxious daughter, and Michael, a young boy with autism. The characters are all presented with their own flaws, but they're not particularly interesting. Anyway, on a trip to the Grand Canyon, Michael takes a few stones, which causes a malevolent force to follow them home. Then, you have your very generic haunting – doors open and close, handprints appear, some sinks turn on by themselves. It's nothing we haven't seen a million times before. The ending felt rushed, too. It really doesn't leave an impression.

The Darkness isn't exactly a poorly-made film. It's not even a horrible film. It is a competently-crafted film with a very safe structure. Unfortunately, the film plays it too safe. There are some interesting tidbits regarding the source of the haunting, but nothing really sticks. It's just another haunted house film – and it's not scary, either. I think that's its biggest flaw, too. The film is nearly devoid of horror. There are no terrifying images and there is no suspense. There are a few jump-scares, but none of them startled me. There are films like Insidious that are able to get pass there fairly safe stories through suspense and jump-scares. The Darkness is not one of those films.

The acting was good, though. Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell worked well together. The child cast was also decent. I mean, the cast won't be bringing home any awards, but they were more than serviceable. The film looks and sounds good, too. On the technical side, I can't really fault it, but it does make it a bit more disappointing. They had some strong pieces here, but they fail to connect. The Darkness was written by Shayne Armstrong, S.P. Krause, and Greg McLean; McLean also directs. Like I said, the writing was safe to a fault. It just doesn't have any originality to it – it has no soul. The direction felt equally uninspired. McLean did well on Wolf Creek 2, but he failed to conjure any suspense or terror in this film.

Overall, The Darkness is a disappointing film. It's a generic horror film that severely lacks in the horror department. I give it credit for being competently-made and watchable, but it's just not very entertaining. As far as I'm concerned, a boring film can be just as bad as a technically bad film. I don't recommend The Darkness unless you're a big fan of the genre and it shows up as part of one of your subscription services.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

No comments:

Post a Comment