The Dark – Ghouls, Gore and Flesh Eating – Movie Review
The other week we brought you the news of Frightfest Presents first release, The Dark, which is out on DVD and Digital on 22 October, just in time for those of you that may be having a Halloween horror night in.
The Dark stars Nadia Alexander (The Sinner, Seven Seconds), Toby Nichols (American Horror Story, Iron Fist) and Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters, Babylon Berlin). An undead young woman, Mina, stalks the ‘Devil’s Den’ woods where she was killed. If anyone enters the woods, she kills them and feasts on the body. But when she stumbles upon a young blind boy named Alex in the back of a car, who shows signs of horrifying abuse, she can’t bring herself to kill him. As police and locals close in, searching for Alex, Mina’s growing relationship with him changes her in ways she never thought possible.
It’s always a joy to see a full feature from a short film and this is the feature debut from writer/director Justin P Lange and is an expansion of his short film from 2013 of the same title. Most of us have seen movies with a cabin in the woods, one of the most famous being The Evil Dead (1981) and the aptly titled Cabin in the Woods (2012), so you may think that the idea has been done to death by now, but The Dark certainly takes the idea and the fear-factor that little step further.
The Dark starts off slowly with an introduction to Josef (Karl Markovics) as he makes his journey to The Devil’s Den a place that most of us wouldn’t step anywhere near, but Josef is on the run and it seems to be the perfect hiding place for him, out of sight from the authorities and a place for him to have his very own sanctuary.
But as he arrives, his nerves are in tatters, as he hears knocking in the house and he investigates the sounds coming from the wall, now is the time for you to grab that pillow, feel your very nerve endings start to tingle and the hairs stand to attention on the back of your neck, Mina (Nadia Alexander) has arrived!
It’s not just the look of the ghoulish Mina with her face full of rotting wounds that make The Dark so unnerving, it’s also the use of the sound, the moment Mina’s axe first penetrates which such force into a skull, the sound is gut-wrenching, but by gosh does it work brilliantly, as does when Mina is chomping down on flesh. The sound production is certainly a key part of the film, bringing it to life and giving the viewer more unnerving moments for their senses.
There is so much more to The Dark thank you are first lead to believe, this isn’t just a “cabin in the woods”, “slasher” movie, you are taken in by the emotions that are portrayed by Mina and the flashbacks of her life before her horrific looks and penchant for wielding an axe and devouring human flesh.
As horror movies go, The Dark is beautifully shot with a great use of lighting and colouring, giving the film a feeling of true horror, but at the same time a warm feeling, the editing of the film is brilliant as is the makeup effects of both Mina and Alex (Toby Nichols), the cast are suited for the roles and Nadia Alexander certainly steals the screentime with her brilliant performance of Mina.
The Dark is not a fast past horror, it’s rather slow, but it works very well, there is so much more to the movie that Mina ripping out throats and swinging an axe, but when the gory moments happen the imagery, sound and effects are well worth the wait.
There's something hiding in The Dark
Movie title: The Dark
Movie description: An undead teenage girl befriends a blind boy that she meets in a forest she haunts and hunts in. Both have been victims of unimaginable abuse, and each finds solace in the other. There may be a chance of light at the end of their tunnel, but it will come with a body count.
Director(s): Justin P. Lange
Actor(s): Nadia Alexander, Toby Nichols, Karl Markovics
The Dark is a great movie to start with for Frightfest Presents first release, it’s a horror that works well in so many ways, certainly worth a watch.