The Darkness, 2016. Directed by Greg McLean. Written by Greg McLean, Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause. Starring Kevin Bacon, Rahda Mitchell, David Mazouz, Lucy Fry, Paul Reiser, Ming-Na Wen.
Greg McLean wrote and directed the creepy serial killer horror film Wolf Creek, and directed James Gunn’s script for The Belko Experiment. With this film he takes a stroll into supernatural horror.
The movie begins on a camping trip in the Grand Canyon, where an autistic boy named Michael is briefly separated from his sister, falls into an underground cavern, and finds 5 stones with markings on them. Then we return to the family home and weird stuff starts to happen. This movie is essentially Poltergeist with Native American mysticism. I’m really not sure how I feel about that. This movie looks like it is trying to find a way respectful way of making Native American demons the antagonist, but really it feels like it is being as lazy with that as well as with the child with autism plot points.
The supernatural occurrences stack up as the characters continue to try to ignore them until the plot says that it’s okay to pay attention to them, and Michael’s characteristics as someone living with autism seem to be general plot driven “special child” symptoms. On top of that you have daughter with eating disorder and husband who had an affair that one time, as well as domineering and lascivious boss, sprinkled throughout for horror movie seasoning. In the end, this movie is just a ton of parts and a little bit of atmosphere, that never quite coalesces into a compelling movie, despite the best efforts of the very talented cast.
More later …