Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Short Attention Span Review: Dark Was the Night (2014)

Short Attention Span Review: Dark Was the Night (2014)

Here's a little picture that slipped through the cracks for the most part and didn't seem to garner a lot of praise.  Mostly regarded as average, I was intrigued by the title and premise, but I honestly didn't expect much from Dark Was the Night.  However, it didn't take long for me to become enthralled, and I found this to be a rock solid creature feature.  I really enjoyed the old school monster movie approach with a plot that fit the "slow boil" mold to perfection and direction that yielded only a few glimpses of the creature until the rousing conclusion.  Kevin Durand and Lukas Haas put in quality work as the leads, and each character came equipped with a backstory that made them easy to root for.  I liked the way the town of Maiden Woods was depicted, and a typical assortment of stock characters made me feel right at home in no time.  Director Jack Heller did a great job of establishing suspense and creating an atmosphere of dread while fleshing out his characters, and he engineered a few big scares along the way to give this one some bite.  Some might be annoyed at the bluish tint that settles over most of the proceedings, but I thought it gave the picture a unique look and it paired nicely with some of the emotional battles playing out in the lives of our protagonists.  Finally, the big finale didn't let me down, and while the effects weren't exactly top-shelf material, they didn't miss the mark by much.  When the town of Maiden Woods gathered together to make their last stand, I found the confrontation that played out to be thrilling and satisfying, and the ending was a perfect throwback to the creature features of my youth.  Yes, those who have a similar nostalgia for the monster movies of the 70s and 80s may find more to enjoy here than modern audiences, but Dark Was the Night is a well-made horror flick that should entertain genre fans of any era.  Is it a B movie?  Absolutely, but it's a damn good B movie, and I would personally welcome a sequel with open arms.

Final Grade: B

I loved the old school creature feature feel, and Kevin Durand and Lukas Haas made for a pair of likable leads.

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