Overall Rating: 2.8/5
Director: Jack Heller
Watch If: You're alright with dissapointment, or don't mind doofy looking monsters.
Not If: You want a good creature feature.
Similar To: They're Watching, Feed The Devil
The Bare Bones: When nearby deforestation awakens a mysterious creature, Sherriff Paul Shields must do everything he can to protect his family and his town.
1 Hour and 30 Minutes
We've all seen this: Small town cut off from the rest of the world, meanwhile something is wreaking havok. It's not a bad set up, and it's less common than some, but the only real place for originality is in whatever the "something" happens to be. If you don't deliver there, then your film is uninspired.
I though that Kevin Durand (Sheriff Pual Shields) did a
pretty good job with this one. But he's the only one. Most of the characters in this film are portraied with all the depth of character found in (the above) plank of wood. The reactions are stock, the dialogue (writer's fault, not actors) is blocking and unrealistic. And it's not just with one or two characters. The logger in the introduction, the deputy, the wife, they all have some cringe worthy moments. Honestly, the damn kid did a better acting job than most of the abults in this film. (Not you, Nick Damici. You do You.)
This movie does one of the three things that I consider unforgivable in a horror movie. If you want to know the others, too bad. But this film suffers from what I call Critter Complex. Let me explain.
If this movie didn't have Critter Complex, it would probobly be a bit closer to a four, because the atmosphere is great, the acting is ok, and to be honest, Dark was the Night has some really cool, genuinely spooky scenes (talking to you headlights.)
But this is where Critter Complex comes in. For some reason, horror makers have a remarkably difficult time with the concept of hiding your monster. That is to say, they always need that full light, face to face, look-at-what-I-made-mommy-isn't-it-cool scene. And it almost never pays off.
This film (quite effectively) leads you to think that the monster is something very different than what it is. Don't know about you, but I was picturing more this, less this.
And here's what ruins it: the thing I was picturing was way scarier.
No, seriously though. I've seen scarier monsters in Monster's Inc. This one is just stupid. It's poor cgi couples with the shoddy idea to make a great big pile of "wait, that's the thing?"
I really liked this movie, until they started to show the creature.
The atmosphere in this one (minus the opening scene) was actually pretty good. The pacing was all right, with just enogough creepy scenes to keep me interesting. It certainly kept me curious. I was genuinly interesting in what was happening, and the suspence for most of the film kept me engrossed in the otherwise shoddy characters.
This film is not one I would reccomend. The acting's dull, the premise is meh, the visuals... oof.
But here's the thing. Every now and then you see small flickers of brilliance filtering through this trainwreck.
And that makes it so much worse.
Not campy enough to be camp, not serious enough to be good.