DARKNESS – review
While it is true that famed horror director Lucio Fulci is long gone, the people he influenced are still very much alive and well. Such is the case with DARKNESS, a film that feels like a spiritual successor to Fulci‘s brand of dreamy horror where logic wasn’t as important as the scares. Which is not to say this is a dumb movie, it’s just one that has very floaty logic.
Marek is a rock star, of sorts, more he is in a popular rock band and lives like a rock star but he’s decided it’s time to give all that up to focus on his painting, much to his band mates’ chagrin. Marek has decided to return to his childhood home, an immense, creepy place that has been abandoned since the death of his parents when he was a child. The house has a dark history (naturally) that includes the place having been the site of ritualistic sacrifice and a camp for Nazi soldiers. Marek knows nothing of this as he takes up residence but there is a shadow that hangs over the old home and he can feel it hanging over him as he tries to make a new life for himself. This shadow is connected to his institutionalized sister and to a past he can only half-remember but it starts to infect everything in his life, even to his paintings. With the help of a local girl that is connected to his childhood, Marek begins to slowly gain an understanding for what is going on in his house but as the mystery grows so too does the danger and as Marek’s life begins to spiral out of control, the shadows of the past grow ever longer until they threaten to consume everything whole.
A well made and well filmed movie, the problem, here really is logic. I like that there are two scenes of gore and both are far more effective because the rest of the film shows so much restraint. And I will say it is a little hard to take the movie too seriously with an over five minute opening with an absolutely dreadful song, but maybe that’s just me. The problem, the real issue here, is that none of it leads to much. It’s an amazing set, a nice plot, and there is so much possibility here and it all leads to…not so much. When the ending comes, it is interesting, but is so odd, and so grounded in reality that you wonder why they played up the supernatural so much. It’s maddening. The Fulci aspect comes in the form of a beautifully shot film, with a ton of atmosphere that just doesn’t make sense. Take this scene for instance – Marek hears a noise, gets a weapon, goes to see what it is, and it turns out to be a dog, the exact…which is exactly like the dog he had as a kid. So he names it the same name. And he isn’t terribly weirded out by it all. Hmm.
This is a fun watch, has lots of nudity, a couple amazing gore scenes, and it has a great premise, it just doesn’t end up in a great place. Which is not to say the ending is bad, but just disappointing. And the very end is just, well, very Fulci. Very weird. If you can catch it, it’s worth a look but it isn’t something that will change your life.
6.5 out of 10