Dark Was the Night

2014

Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller

20
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 44%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 35%
IMDb Rating 5.6 10 6734

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Kevin Durand as Paul Shields
Bianca Kajlich as Susan Shields
Lukas Haas as Donny Saunders
Sabina Gadecki as Clair
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
736.08 MB
1280*534
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 2 / 12
1.51 GB
1920*800
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 6 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by FJWWindsor 6 / 10

More Than Passable Creature Feature

Dark Was The Night is a relatively engaging creature feature that benefits from appropriate pacing and adequate acting on the part of the participants. Kevin Durand delivers a fine performance as a quirky and moody character, elevating him above most generic characters in more mundane and mediocre horror flicks. I'd have to say none of the actors delivers a gut wrenchingly bad performance, though none will win an Academy Award.

DWTN also proves you can make a relatively engaging horror flick without a lot of fancy CGI or FX. In addition to the calculated pacing (not too fast or too slow, IMHO), Jack Heller uses simple set creations, plot devices and staging to heighten the tension and mystery, never revealing too much too soon. Coupled with decent character development, a fairly good story line, and an above average script (for this kind of low budget creature feature), it makes the flick work for most of it's 90+ minutes

As many have observed, the movie falls victim to trite mechanisms toward the end, making it just short of anti-climactic in its predictability. The creature was somewhat interesting, but the sub- standard CGI made it less believable. Heller and the writer then proverbially club the viewer over the head with a disingenuous twist at the very end, no doubt set up to introduce a future sequel. (I will not reveal it here, as I don't want to introduce a TOTAL spoiler).

Suffice it to say, DWTN is a relatively entertaining creature feature that should hold your attention throughout. Not a movie you'd need to see twice, but much better than a lot of the tripe I've been viewing lately.

Reviewed by Nigel P 8 / 10

Spoilers follow ...

Something is amiss in the small town community of Maiden Wood. Animals are going missing, and people are being reduced to dismembered limbs scattered amongst the autumn leaves. In fact, this is a very autumnal film – in many scenes, the colours are bled out of the images, or a subtle filter is placed on the camera, reducing the atmosphere to a dawn coldness. The soundtrack, too, is a mixture of sombre music and what could be the sound of a hollow wind. Director Jack Teller certainly imbues his world with an unsettling unease.

Into this, Sheriff Shields (Kevin Durand) tentatively strides, acting on varied reports of 'something in the trees'. Shields is played with a kind of weighty sense of unease and disappointment. The emergence of muddied hoof-prints running through the area does nothing to lighten his mood. His estrangement with wife Susan (Bianca Kajlich) and son Adam (Ethan Khusidman) is nicely underscored: two people torn about by a tragedy who were clearly meant to be together. Never over-sentimental, but quietly powerful.

Windiga, a creature from Native American legend, is revealed very slowly, a limb at a time. It finally makes its appearance during a terrific, isolating snowstorm. Sometimes what you don't see is more effective – but the way the creature is realised doesn't let anything down. The showdown is terrific. What comes after is even better.

It's a monster-on-the-loose film, and is an exceptional example of its kind.

Reviewed by suite92 7 / 10

More suspenseful than the usual creature feature.

The Three Acts:

The initial tableaux: The very beginning of the film is consists of archival footage of logging backed up with atonal, jump-out-of-your-skin music. Trees are ripped apart, with chunks of them turned to chips by automatic machinery. Tree trunks are dumped skinned (figuratively speaking) of their bark, separated from limbs and roots, on the ground for future pickup.

Next we switch to a staged logging site with modern photography, no current tree destruction, and next to no sound. The site is closing down for the weekend; a winter storm is coming in. The foreman checks up on the last crew still on the (moderately) secure and closed site. This does not go well. The early splatter set my expectations going in the wrong direction for a moment. This is more of a suspenseful film.

Delineation of conflicts: Near the town of Tanner, the logging company cuts down trees to produce lumber to sell. Creatures in that wooded area are forced to move to find a new habitat. In Maiden Woods, to the south of Tanner, the local animal owners would like their animals to be safe, while the new creatures in the woods are hungry. Hunters would like to shoot deer as usual, and wonder about the migration of animals.

The local Sheriff, Paul Shields, his wife Susan, and their remaining son Adam are separated after the death of their other son, Tim. Everyone in town wants the sheriff to heal from this, but he is wallowing in it. Various religious themes are batted about with little consensus. Is the creature the devil, or some animal thought extinct? Does the Sheriff need to reconnect to the deity, or is he just lost in sorrow? Was the deputy from New York City 'meant' to have moved to the film's small town, or was this just a single workaholic man drifting through life?

While dealing with his emotional issues, Paul has to help out the town, the horse owners, the hunters, and the Sheriff's department by figuring out what's going on.

Resolution: The Sheriff, Deputy Saunders, the forest rangers, and local hunters get closer to understanding the threat to Maiden Woods. Is there a workable solution?

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