Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Dark Light

My notes on Dark Light.

This will be easy to get mixed up with Dark Encounter, another FrightFest selection involving a missing child, revisionist alien abduction mythology and a fractured mid-western American family.  Writer-director Padraig Reynolds’ take is a more straight-ahead monster movie, fitting into the recent ‘tiger mommy’ cycle as determined woman Annie Knox (Jessica Madsen) goes to great lengths to save her daughter Emily (Opal Littleton) from an impressively-designed creature (imagine Pumpkinhead with a cyclopaean lightbulb for an eye) which comes from the bowels of the earth rather than the depths of space and drains little kids of their energy (leaving the empties in glowing green pools) while disposing of adults with its toothy jaws.  Annie has to cope with a disbelieving ex-husband (Ed Brody), a suspicious Sheriff (Kristina Clifford) and a crypid theorist with a hidden agenda (Gerald Tyler) as well as the monster – though most of the human element, along with a slightly jumbled back-and-forth narrative, is just a distraction from the real business of getting down in the monster’s lair to confront the beast and rescue the maiden.  It has a lot of scenes of the heroine pointing a shotgun with a flashlight attached as she edges her way warily around first her rickety old farmhouse and then the underworld, while the creature often lives up to the title by shining a blinding light.  It has something of the feel of the direct-to-video creature features of the 1990s (The Dark, 1993), made before the SyFy Channel got hold of all that cheap CGI tech – and the monster (performed by Weston Meredith) has a great look and nasty m.o.

Here’s the FrightFest listing.





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