Directed by the Mo Brothers
If horror has taught us anything, it’s that you just can’t trust anyone. Not your spouse, a doctor, or even the town priest. That goes double for attractive restaurant chefs in Dara, an Indonesian gem that crams a feature’s worth of chaos into 25 gore-drenches minutes.
After a successful date with the owner of a popular bistro, a middle-aged man wakes up in her basement chained to a wall and surrounded by body parts and sharp instruments. His lovely Dara now brandishes a chainsaw, but just as she starts her night of sadistic torture, things get interrupted. It seems the woman has overbooked her torture schedule, prompting several of her suitors (i.e. victims) to show up on her doorstep unexpectedly. And they’re all hungry for Dara’s special cooking. What follows is a classic sit-com style situation-comedy, only with a helluva lot more slashing.
At first, it’s easy to dismiss this as an Audition knock-off or some last-minute jump onto the torture porn bandwagon, but like the title character, Dara has a few devilish aces up its sleeve. While the story might not break any new ground, writing/directing team The Mo Brothers take a typical horror scenario and execute it with class, style, and splatter. The performances are all top-notch, and the comedy is played completely straight with a perfect mix of horror and dry humor.
As with most short films, you’ll have to catch this one at a festival (look for it at this year’s Screamfest L.A.) but should you see this in a line-up, be sure to check it out. Dara is guaranteed to make you squirm, laugh, and stare uneasily at your date.
4 out of 5