Written by: Daniel Hadley
Directed by: Greg McLean
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Lucy Fry
When a movie has a proven horror director such as Greg McLean behind it, the man who gave us both Wolf Creek movies and the underrated crocodile horror Rogue (if you haven’t seen that movie then do it now for the love of whatever god you happen to) you expect great things. Add to that a very good cast (and I mean that seriously, Burke from aliens is in this) then there is little that can go wrong. So then, that begs the question: what the fuck happened?
After a family returns from a camping trip to the Grand Canyon their autistic son begins to act far more strangely than his condition would warrant and his mother begins to suspect something evil has come home with them. It would have been a really interesting haunting movie if perhaps it didn’t delve into the stereotypical haunted house movie almost immediately. Maybe if the family had experienced this haunting on the camping trip, have the ghost mess with the family at the Grand Canyon, it would have at least been an interesting setting.
I sat eagerly awaiting something exciting to happen, I mean it had to get good at some point. It just had to… didn’t it? With each minute that passed I waited for things to kick into high gear, for the horror to really ramp up. Instead it limply dragged its way over speed bump after speed bump. Come on Greg, you gave us Mick fucking Taylor now all you can muster is some creepy noises and some black hand prints? Why didn’t you start flickering the lights and have a few doors slam too? Then we have the complete set of overdone clichés.
To get the positives out of the way quickly I should stress that the cast are all fine. The performances are perfectly respectable, in fact, but when those performances are swishing their way around a whirlpool of boredom and cliché they amount to very little. Normally the lack of jump scares would be a huge positive but you know, they need to be replaced with something. And no, weird noises and black handprints don’t count. Nor do the incredibly rare appearance of the odd shadow. I can only put this down to Greg McLean’s lack of experience with ghost movies, as he has more than proven himself in other areas of horror and he has shown he can build tension brilliantly. The final act of Rogue is a testament to that.
This movie annoyed me way more than it should have, mainly because I know it had a very talented director (and cast) behind it. I suppose I should give him the benefit of the doubt though, everyone slips up once in a while. The Darkness isn’t terrible, it’s just very bland and pretty dull. It’s also not in the least bit scary.
If you want to toil ninety minutes of your life away with what equates to the tasteless porridge of horror movies, then settle in for a no thrill at any minute joyless ride into The Nothingness. Oh no wait, I meant The Darkness.