31 Days of Reviews: The Darkness (2016)

After their son brings some rocks home from their trip to the Grand Canyon, a family starts experiencing demonic activity in their house.

I’ll be honest here. The trailers for The Darkness didn’t really inspire me to see it. I learned at some point that Ming-Na Wen was in the movie, and that peaked my interest, but I’m glad that I didn’t go out to see it simply for that. It’s really not that great.

The Darkness stars Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, and Lucy Fry. It has guest appearances by Jennifer Morrison, Matt Walsh, Parker Mack, and Ming-Na Wen. It is directed by Greg McLean, known for the 2005 horror film Wolf Creek.

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This movie, to break it down in the simplest way, is like a combination of the Brady Bunch episode with the cursed tiki and Poltergeist. This isn’t necessarily a bad combination overall. The execution just happens to result in a movie that isn’t very engaging.

While on a trip to the Grand Canyon, the Taylor’s young son discovers several ancient Native American rocks that have been buried for many years. He keeps these rocks a secret and decides to bring them home. Once they return to their home, things begin to change. Stuff starts to get weird. People start acting differently. Communication breaks down.

Over time, the changes become more obvious and detrimental to their family unit. Spiritual help is called in to attempt to purify the family of the evil they brought home with them.

In the end, the story behind The Darkness could have been told in a compelling way. Similar to many other movies I’ve reviewed so far, pacing could have been significantly better.

I mentioned above that things begin to change once the ancient rocks are removed from their resting place. In the case of The Darkness, most of these changes have to do with communication and relationships within the family. Their dynamic is starting to break down. That definitely is a problem, but the changes are paced out so slowly that I honestly forgot I was watching a horror movie. It felt more like a drama.

On top of that, I found it really hard to be invested in the family problems that were being portrayed. I wasn’t connecting with the characters in order to really see the significance in their changing relationships. The characters weren’t entirely likeable. It’s a shame.

I do have to hand it to Radha Mitchell once again. I know I’ve said this several times about her, but Mitchell really can make her characters likeable. She does the best she can with the material she is given, and it really shows.

The effects used throughout the movie aren’t that great. I was surprised. They had creative ideas, but I just don’t feel that they came across well. They may have benefitted more from a less is more mentality. It was when they attempted to go for the gusto that I started to lose interest.

Unfortunately, The Darkness is full of a lot of tropes. It’s even more unfortunate that these tropes aren’t executed well. The movie ends up being extremely forgettable. If only the execution was betrer, The Darkness may have had a chance.

Going into this movie, I knew it had negative reviews. I knew it wasn’t in theaters for very long, and it had a very quiet release to DVD. I really wasn’t expecting it to be as bad as it was though.

If it were up to me entirely, I would recommend skipping this movie. There are definitely better movies out there that would be of better use of your time.

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One response to “31 Days of Reviews: The Darkness (2016)

  1. Pingback: 31 Days of Reviews: The Disappointments Room (2017) | Haley Noelle Cummings

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