Skip to main content

DEVIL IN THE DARK review

2017

Director: Tim Brown
Starring: Dan Payne and Robin Dunne
Written by: Carrey Dickson




Adam (Robin Dunne) hasn’t been home for close to 15 years. He returns to see his estranged brother Clint (Dan Payne) and go on a weekend hunting trip. The brothers stand in the shadow of their father who had strikingly different relationships with each of them. Clint emulated his father and saw him as a great man, while Adam didn’t understand his father and saw him as cruel and disconnected.

Unaffected performances from Payne and Dunne allow for a natural and authentic relationship. It would have been easy for either of the characters to have been played with vitriol or contempt but both leads chose to play their characters from a place far more emotionally grounded. We see Clint with his family in the same rural house him and his brother grew up in. Adam's form of rebellion involves a sports car and a home in the city. Both men are using their father as a guide on how to lead their lives. One uses him as an example of what to do and the other as an example of what not to do.  Adam is hanging on to a lifestyle he probably should’ve out grown in his 20’s. Hangovers are cute when your 23 but sad when you’re 43.

An intelligent screenplay from Dickson shows these differences but rarely calls them out. We instead see these men going through the motions of becoming re acclimated. We learn more about who they are by watching them interact than by being told who they are. This methodical (getting to know you slowly) style of storytelling allows for the audience to become fully invested in both characters. We see them as both flawed but decent men. We understand why they chose the paths they chose and hope for their eventual reconciliation.

Most descriptions of this film I’ve read focus on the horror elements but the relationship between these two men is the real heart of the story. The greatest compliment I can pay to any genre film is, the story would absolutely work without the horrific elements.  I was completely invested in the story of Adam and Clint and what lead to their 15-year separation. While the hints of what’s to come are layered throughout the first hour of the film, I ignored them and focused on the relationship. I’m not sure if this was by design but my choice to ignore all the foreshadowing and telegraphing, assisted in being floored by the third act. I knew where the film was headed but I made a conscious choice to focus on the elements I wanted to see and ignored what the filmmaker was telling me. It’s a brilliant trick on behalf of Brown and Dickson that elevated the film above the genre trappings most films of its ilk suffer.

DEVIL IN THE DARK is a smart character driven horror film that forgoes the usual gore and jump scares to engage with the audience.


DEVIL IN THE DARK will be available on VOD on March 7th




Popular posts from this blog

Richard Armitage interview on SLEEPWALKER

SLEEPWALKER is the latest film from director Elliott Lester. Troubled by bouts of sleepwalking and disturbing nightmares, graduate student Sarah Foster goes to her university's sleep research center for help. When she wakes up after her first night of being monitored, the world she lives in seems to have changed in subtle, Twilight-Zone-esque ways. In fact, every time she goes to sleep now, she wakes up in a slightly different version of her world. With the help of sleep researcher Dr. Scott White, she tries to work her way back to the reality she started in. But when they finally succeed, it’s revealed that Sarah’s world is not what she thought at all.

Today my guest is one of the stars SLEEPWALKER, Richard Armitage. Tonight we talk about his work on that film as well as his work as Thorin Oakenshiled in The Hobbit Films, as John Proctor in The Crucible, and his upcoming films Ocens 8 and the Julie Delpy directed film My Zoe.

Sleepwalker is Now Available on Digital HD and On Dem…

LAFF Review AND THEN THERE WAS EVE

2017
Directed By: Savannah Bloch
Starring: Tania Nolan, Rachel Crowl, Mary Holland, Karan Soni, John Kassir, and Anne Gee Byrd



Alyssa (Nolan) wakes up to find her home pillaged and her husband missing. The burglars have taken everything, down to the photos of her husband. The police offer little help so she turns to a friend of the family Eve (Crowl) for assistance. The film is less of a "who done it" and more of a "what happened."

The prolonged second act of the film focuses on the relationship between Eve and Alyssa. The suspense of the film lingers in the background while their relationship grows. In fact, clues of what is to come are clearly laid out in a way that allows the viewer to see where the film is headed before it gets there. I'm not sure if this is by design but the effect of having the stories trajectory clearly laid out gives the audience permission to accept this blossoming relationship.

Nolan and Crowl both give stunning performances that anc…

BFF review SWEET PARENTS

SWEET PARENTS review 2017
Directed By: David Bly
Starring: David Bly and Leah Rudick
Written By: David Bly and Leah Rudick

Moving to New York City with ambitions of making it as an artist is an uphill battle. Hell, moving to New York with ambitions of breaking into fast food is an uphill battle. Exorbitant rent makes it difficult if not impossible to get a temp job while you audition, paint, write, or sculpt. And paying $28 for an artisan PB&J not only has a heavy tax on your pocketbook, over time it can carry a greater burden on your soul. Spending tons of money to only feel like you are barely keeping your head above water is a crushing way to exist.

SWEET PARENTS is the story of a young couple who have been living the artists struggle in NYC for close to 8 years. Will has dreams of making it as a Chef and Gabby wants to become a professional sculptor. Both start side relationships, as last ditch efforts to support their careers, in what becomes a choice between ambition and lo…