I don’t feel like The Darkness is my first horror movie review this year, but it certainly feels like it’s been a while. Too bad there’s not much to show for it.
The Darkness follows a family of four Kevin Bacon (Crazy Stupid Love, Frost/Nixon, Hollow Man) plays father, Peter Taylor and Radha Mitchell (Olympus Has Fallen, Rogue, When Strangers Appear) plays the mother Bronny Taylor. Their children consist of an anorexic teenager Stephanie Taylor played by Lucy Fry (Now Add Honey, Vampire Academy) and their autistic son Michael Taylor played by David Mazouz (Gotham *Series, Incarnate, The Games Maker). During a family vacation to the Grand Canyon young Michael (Mikey for short) Stumbles upon a hidden ancient cave shrined with rocks that have strange symbols on them. When Mikey takes these rocks back home strange things begin to happen. The neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking, wolves and snakes and crows mysteriously keep popping up, doors unlock and open themselves and strangest of all black hand prints begin forming everywhere. After some much-needed researching Peter and Bronny find out that this may be the work of an evil and ancient tribe that were once entrapped in the Canyons and they may be using their son to escape into their world. Somehow the family will have to banish the spirits back to their prison before they take Mikey away with them forever.
So it’s Your basic family haunting survival story with nothing new to add to the mix. As a matter of fact, they recycled a lot of clichés that you’ll be familiar with, such as a father who is unfaithful and mother who has a drinking problem. The spirits feed off negativity, and all that jazz and all the Taylor’s seem to do is fight so the spirits have their fill! Towards the end when everything is at it’s worst they hire some exorcist that comes in and tells them what they already know and try to help them banish the dark entities back to where they came from. Another Cliche. There are no scary moments just little jump factors that begin to really tire out by the middle of the movie. Soon you begin to wonder will anything significant ever happen? And you get so sure that nothing will that soon the tension is gone there is no more suspense and you find yourself just watching an annoying family going through their life’s problems. One thing that greatly annoyed me in the film was that they kept loosing Mikey. Like several times throughout the film someone says ‘Mikey!? Where’s Mikey!?’ your son is handicapped and possibly possessed by evil spirits and you keep losing him? Fantastic. Also gotta love how the family found the answers to all their problems on a youtube video. Who was the genius behind that? With the whole dark Indians thing the film kinda has a Poltergeist vibe to it, especially toward the end when you see Peter stepping into the spirit realm to try to get Mikey back. However The Darkness just couldn’t pull it off as well as Poltergeist and it ends up looking more awkward and clumsy than it should have.
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some disturbing violence, brief sensuality, and language.
Rotten tomatoes have this horror film at a 6% rotten! That’s super rotten!
Trust me, this will be available on DVD and instant streaming soon. I’m surprised it didn’t just go straight to TV. That being said, do not waste money going to see this in theaters if you want to see a pointless horror film with nothing new to add to the genre including fear wait to rent it…I guess. Until then here’s to the next big attempt in horror.