I love, love, LOVE creature-features, and I cannot get enough of them. Films with monsters/creatures are some of my favorite in the horror genre (James Cameron’s ALIENS and John Carpenter’s THE THING are in my Top Five Horror Films of All Time, if that tells you anything). So when I heard about DARK WAS THE NIGHT, I jumped on the opportunity to watch it. After all, I’ll give just about any monster movie a shot. I will admit this film is not perfect, but it’s a lot of fun nonetheless, and fans of the genre like me will definitely want to give this one a look.
If you are not familiar with DARK WAS THE NIGHT, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of RLJ Entertainment:
Maiden Woods is a remote and quiet town of decent, hard-working people, but something stirs in the dark woods surrounding this isolated community. After a logging company decimates an area of the forest, a rash of increasingly violent and unexplainable events transpires. Sheriff Paul Shields (Kevin Durand) and his deputy (Lukas Haas) struggle to confront their own personal demons while facing down a new breed of raw terror that is possibly older than humanity itself… and much, much hungrier.
DARK WAS THE NIGHT is shot well and looks great onscreen (what I could see of it, anyway…the review copy I was given had a VERY annoying watermark that dominated most of the dark scenes). I particularly like the locales chosen for the filming. While they are not stunning in scope, they do a great job of building the desolate feel needed for the film.
The acting in DARK WAS THE NIGHT is pretty good, though I’m surprised to see Kevin Durand in the lead. Durand is a decent actor, however I was thrown a bit by seeing him in this role. I picture him more as a heavy, a menacing figure that instills fear on those who see him. Still, he does a pretty good job here. The supporting cast do the same; I can’t recall any wooden or particularly bad performances.
The story is nothing we haven’t heard before, however that’s just fine for a film like this. The tension builds nicely, culminating to a climactic battle at the end. I’m very proud of the filmmakers for not revealing the creature in the DVD cover art or even too soon in the film. I cannot stand it when distributors do this, and thus DARK WAS THE NIGHT is a nice change from the norm in regard to spoiling the surprise.
*SPOILER ALERT* But the creature is the cause for my problem with this film. The beast looks wicked and downright vicious…but I don’t think it would be found in the wintery northeast; it appears almost reptilian in nature, and thus, it wouldn’t be trekking around in the snow. Also, we don’t get to see it long enough at the end.
Still, with those two issues aside, DARK WAS THE NIGHT is an entertaining creature-feature that fans of the genre should enjoy. I recommend it, and I hope to see a better version of it soon (minus the watermark). The film is available now in a variety of formats.