Darkness, The (2016) - Dread Central
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Darkness, The (2016)

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The Darkness

TheDarkness-PosterStarring Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Lucy Fry, David Mazouz, Matt Walsh,  Jennifer Morrison

Directed by Greg McLean


The Taylor family is on vacation in the Southwest, hunting through ancient cave formations, when the youngest, Michael (Mazouz), finds a few cool aboriginal artifacts and brings the oddly-marked stones home in his pocket. Bad idea. (Just ask Bobby Brady.)

Not that bringing evil that’s been simmering for centuries home is going to make that much of a difference in the Taylors’ terrible lives. Dad Peter (Kevin Bacon) is a workaholic, mom Bronny (Radha Mitchell) is an alcoholic, big sis Stephanie (Lucy Fry) is bulimic, and stone-snatching Michael is autistic.  But still… They’re not exactly thrilled when their house becomes possessed and crazy things start happening.

Bad smells – check. Water taps that run on their own – check. Pets that go crazy – check. Things going bump in the night – check.

The most sensitive to the disturbance is Bronny, and ultimately it is she who decides to do something about it.

While she is out to a chi-chi dinner with her husband and his boss (Paul Reiser) and wife (Ming-Na Wen), talk turns to witch doctors and exorcists. Luckily, the bossman’s lady has the hook-up, and pretty soon the Taylor two-story is being blessed. The evil entities are not happy to see a pair of brujas (Alma Martinez, Ilza Rosario) stepping into their newly-staked territory, so they pull out all the stops – and all the CGI.

Unfortunately, The Darkness relies almost entirely on CGI and jump scares. I wasn’t expecting this from Greg McLean, but then again, the only other movie I have seen of his is Wolf Creek. So maybe he uses a lot of CGI all the time, and I’m just out of the loop. McLean co-wrote the script also, which is dreadful. Apparently he never met a cliché he didn’t like, which would be fine were The Darkness a comedy or schlock, but it’s meant to be serious and scary.

The only saving grace, and the reason I’m giving The Darkness a generous 2.5 rating, is the cast. The actors are all top-notch – especially the principals playing the flummoxed family. It’s always great to see Kevin Bacon in anything, and Radha Mitchell is one of my favorite actresses in any horror sub-genre (ICYMI, she was in Pitch Black and Silent Hill and also McLean’s Rogue which I did not see). Lucy Fry is fantastic (she was the best thing in Vampire Academy), and I haven’t seen David Mazouz before but he’s very convincing (he also plays a young Bruce Wayne in the “Gotham” TV series).

Unless you’re really desperate to see a story about old spirits in new digs, I’d suggest holding off on seeing The Darkness until it debuts on streaming services.

 

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User Rating 3.25 (16 votes)

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