REVIEW: ‘Dark Was the Night’ (2014)

Dark Was the NightTitle: ‘Dark Was the Night’
2014, USA
Director: Jack Heller
Cast: Kevin Durand, Lukas Haas

The quiet life of a small town’s inhabitants is shaken by a myserious series of events connected with the appearance of unidentified prints. The local sheriff and his deputy investigate, as an impending menace becomes more and more real night after night.

‘Dark Was the Night’ is a true missed opportunity. For the vast majority of its running time, the movie works as an old-school monster-of-the-week episode of ‘The X-Files’. And I mean this as a compliment, I’m a huge fan of Mulder and Scully. The script and direction are quite effective at building a tensed and creepy atmosphere. The omnipresent blueish/greysh cinematography was a little too much for my tastes, but I wouldn’t list it as a major fault.

As for the acting, Kevin Durand was born for this kind of role. His imposing physical presence and intensity make him perfectly believable as a monster-hunting sheriff coming to terms with a recent loss. Despite the script’s efforts to give him some sort of backstory, Lukas Haas is relegated to a more anonymous and sidekicky part, but he serves his purpose.

The big problem with ‘Dark Was the Night’ is the very last part of the movie. The monster is much scarier when left unseen. The moment it’s finally revealed, you’ll want to scream at the horror of such a bad CGI and creature design. Also, are you familiar with the cliffhanger final shots that modern horror flicks seem unable to do without? Well, we get a particularly cringeworthy one here.

‘Dark Was the Night’ could’ve been a new favorite of mine, but the last 15 minutes turned it into a bitter disappointment. I’d still recommend it to the lovers of the genre, but… oh boy, that ending…

★★☆☆☆

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