‘DEVIL IN THE DARK’ Review
Sibling rivalry is something I know very little about. See, I’m an only child, and so my exposure to this has been vicariously through others and by what film an TV has provided me with. I “get it,” but I don’t get it, y’know? It’s not LOST on me, it’s just not natural. Devil in the Dark is all about brotherhood and that rivalry, childhood trauma, daddy issues, and dear hunting. And an albino monster, that too.
Adam (Robin Dunne) is returning to his hometown after a long absence, in order to rekindle his relationship with his brother Clint (Dan Payne). They went on hunts with their father when they were kids, so the plan is to revisit. They leave Clint’s wife Sophie (Briana Buckmaster) and their kids, and set out into the woods. Ominously, it was warned that the last known person who traveled into these parts to hunt, disappeared. It’s chalked up to the guy’s diminished intellect, but perhaps there’s a bit more to it…yeah, there is. It’s something from Adam’s past, drawing him in. It’s creepy.
Made for a tiny 1 million Canadian, director Tim Brown makes the most out of his buck. The movie looks terrific in the woods, perfectly lit, and with drone-shot aerials that are simply beautiful. Brown knows how to build suspense and show as little as possible of the creature in order to keep some mystery. There were a number of perfectly timed edits that would have been jump scares if the audio was timed for it, but are still really effective. The script fro first timer Carey Dickson, however, is where the film falters.
The movie constantly jumps back to the turmoil of the brothers’ childhood, their volatile relationship, a mysterious trip to the woods, and their father. Perhaps there was a link there to what was transpiring in present time, but it was lost on me aside from the obvious notes. With every jump to the past, I became a little less interested in what was happening as a whole, and since I couldn’t exactly figure out why it mattered…well, it was distracting. Is there a link here? It’s unanswered. When the movie focuses up on the present it’s decent, but those moments are few and far between.
The ending of the movie is really strong, even if it poses a lot more questions that won’t be answered. I didn’t know if I expected a mind-bending movie or a straight forward creature in the woods deal, but it ends up being both to it’s detriment. On the plus side we get a really good performance from Dan Payne, a cool creature that’s shown just enough to haunt you, and some really great photography. Perhaps there’s more for someone here, but I just didn’t get it.
Devil in the Dark is available on VOD today!
Awesome ending, well shot, some perfectly edited moments, good performance from Dan Payne.
Nothing that really scared me, and I'm unsure if the way the story was presented with flashbacks was purposeful.