New on BluRay from The Shout Factory
DARKNESS RISING (2017)
Directed by Austin Reading
Written by Vikram Weet
Starring Tara Holt, Katrina Law, Christian Ganiere, Bryce Johnson, Heather Mazur, Ted Raimi, Daisy Sklar, Myk Watford
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DARKNESS RISING has a promising concept, some decent visual effects, and a cameo by Ted Raimi. But none of that can overcome the uninspired script.
Madison (Tara Holt) brings her boyfriend Jake (Bryce Johnson) and BFF Izzy (Katrina Law) to her childhood home which was the site of a lot of deep buried issues and secrets. With the building scheduled to be knocked down, the trio break inside, but find themselves trapped and forced to face their deepest fears lobbed recklessly at them by an evil unseen force.
There is a lot that works here. I like the small scale of the film, keeping all of the action inside the home, though there are some flahsbacks tossed in for variation’s sake. The film relies on the tried and true jump scare method as characters seem to pop out of the darkness and from around corners often (accompanied by a Don Music keyboard headbang). But when things do get paranormal, there are some fun images such as Izzy trying to burn her eyes out with bleach and creepy children appearing and disappearing. These things at least make the film visually entertaining to endure.
That’s a good thing because there are some scenes that are written extremely stupidly. Maybe it’s because of edits or ad libs by the cast, but once things get hectic, the cast just seems to be running around and blathering. Some accept the existence of the paranormal a little too early. Some seem to know a set of rules that somehow work against said paranormal. There is also a hilarious scene that goes on way too long where a dog stands in the way of all exits of the building and the trio debate as to whether it is one dog or three. What the fuck does it matter? They couldn’t get out either way.
Things like that make DARKNESS RISING frustrating to watch despite some decent acting turns from all three of the kids—specifically Katrina Law (who appears on ARROW occasionally) who plays a non-believer who then reacts pretty extremely once she is faced with the truth of the situation. This is Sunday afternoon filler at most. It’s got some jump scares and I like the no way out scenario, but even the filmmakers didn’t seem to know how to end it, so it’s going to be a struggle for most to sit through this one until the end.