Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
DARK WAS THE NIGHT
A logging operation not too far away from the town of Maiden Woods drives out a carnivorous creature that seeks sustenance. Sheriff Paul Shields (Kevin Durand), still grieving over the death of one of his two little boys, now has to contend with citizens panicking over old legends, and a barely seen creature that snatches people and leaves parts of their bodies draped over tree branches. Paul gathers everyone in a church, but it seems nothing can stop this hulking, determined monster ... Dark was the Night is not a schlocky syfy channel-type movie, but a well-made theatrical feature with good performances, stabs at characterization, several creepy and suspenseful scenes, and a downbeat, downright depressing conclusion. Even accounting for his character's emotional state, Durand gives an odd and low-key performance, but that adds to the movie's general weirdness. There are nice turns from Bianca Kajlich as the sheriff's wife, Susan; Ethan Kusidman as his son, Adam (where do they find all of these very talented child actors?); and Lukas Haas -- once a child actor himself -- as Deputy Donny Saunders, among others. Ryan Samul's cinematography is a plus, and Darren Morze has contributed a sinister rock theme for the closing credits.
Verdict: A wendigo on the loose. ***.