Deep in the Darkness Review

Posted: June 25, 2014 in Horror, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

deep_in_the_darkness_650x366Dreck [drek]

noun Slang.

  1. excrement; dung.
  2. worthless trash; junk.

Yiddish drek; cognate with German Dreck  filth; compare Old English threax, Old Norse threkr excrement


Pick your definition – Deep in the Darkness is dreck, unless you’re a Viking, in which case, it’s threkr.

Yes, of course, all reviews are subjective and all opinions are personal. Someone, somewhere will like this movie, if for no other reason, than to be different from the other seven billion people on Earth. Different strokes for different folks, except this is 101-minute exercise in strokelessness. Logic is not biased, and there is none in the screenplay, editing or direction here.

To put it bluntly, do not see this. It is not good. It is not so bad that it’s good. It is merely bad. It is offensive, not in terms of controversial themes or taboo subject matter. It is offensive in that anyone associated with Deep in the Darkness would be presumptuous enough to believe that this dreck is worth another person’s time, let alone money. It is also offensive in that this dreck reinforces negative stereotypes regarding the horror genre, leaving would-be filmmakers with the impression that fans are so desperate they will accept witless, charmless, clueless fare like this.

And what makes this fiasco even more infuriating is that the movie squanders a very good cast. We do not get to see Dean Stockwell very often, and he shows again in his few minutes on screen his natural presence and ability to inhabit a character. Sean Patrick Thomas, who can switch from affable to action-oriented in a minute, is  a good choice to serve as a lead in an exploitation movie. Kristen Bush as Thomas’ wife and Anthony Del Negro as Stockwell’s grandson are also fine. Yet, they are all ultimately ground down by the sheer stupidity of the script.

Thomas plays Dr. Michael Cayle, who decides to uproot his family from Manhattan and move to a small town in New Hampshire, where he purchases the practice and house of a recently deceased doctor. The first 15-minutes of the movie are devoted to exposition, and while slow, they are not excruciating. That changes. The story lurches, sputters, coughs, and wheezes as it attempts to introduce the supernatural element. Finally, it just has Stockwell’s character, neighbor Phil Deighton, explain the whole thing.

A tribe of wild men know as Isolates live in the woods outside of the town. Each of the towns folk must sacrifice an animal or the Isolates will come after them, but the whole “coming after” thing is a little vague, in terms of timing and consequences. Dr. Cayle is not going to have any of this, and he’ll fight through every horror cliche known to man and beast: dream sequences, evil matriarchal figures, a sheriff who’s in on the conspiracy, and even an unhelpful tow truck driver.

The director and screenwriter have no ability to construct an effective segue. Transitions between scenes are clumsy, destroying any sense of time or continuity of action. The creatures are a mish-mash of bad make-up and goofy glowing eyes, who most of the time are looking to pull a Blazing Saddles Number Six on the town before suddenly remembering they’re more of a cannibal crowd after all.

There’s a surprise ending that isn’t, but the only shock would be if anyone is left watching at that point.

Zero stars.

  1. Mark s says:

    I still can’t figure out the ending.

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