Director – Liam Gavin (Day of Reckoning, Jericho)
Starring – Steve Oram (The Living and the Dead, The World’s End), Catherine Walker (Perfect Day: The Funeral, Walking the Dead), and Susan Loughnane (Poison Pen, Love/Hate)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3.5/5
Christmas is a joyous time around my home. I have two toddlers and watching them interact with the mall Santa and listen to stories on the holiday is heartwarming to say the least. This reminds me of when I was younger when I lived with my father’s cousin for several years and how important Christmas was for the family. I spend a lot of time on Christmas movies regardless if they are horror or not but sometimes I overdo it and need a break.
With so many Christmas movies in my collection its only a matter of time that I find myself sick of them. When that happened this year I went through the review stack and decided to toss in the IFC Midnight/Scream Factory release of A Dark Song. I had no idea what the film was about but I am glad I gave it a shot.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a struggling mother who is finding it too difficult to cope with the loss of her son. She seeks out a man who is said to know a ritual that can get those responsible for his death. The man agrees but warns her that this is time consuming and could leave her a broken woman. She reluctantly agrees and set out to perform the ritual. Through many trying rituals and occurrences she questions if she has made the right decision. Can she stop or is it too late for this young woman with vengeance in her heart?**Spoiler Alert**
I knew this wouldn’t be your typical horror film. In fact, I thought it would be so far out there that I couldn’t figure out what was going. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I thought this one would be over my head. Lucky for me it wasn’t. The film was dark, suspenseful and I really enjoyed the story.
The acting for this one is fantastic. Steve Oram and Catherine Walker was fantastic together. Oram’s character is magnificent. He perfectly pulls off the “knowing all” angle and mixes it with a hostile character that is almost toxic for those around him. I also enjoyed Catherine Walker’s performance. She’s great at playing the victim and takes control of every scene she is in. The casting is damn near perfect.
The story for this one is simple but overly detailed and I love it. The film is a little claustrophobic. A majority of the film is the two sitting in one or room another in the old home. Simple in that aspect but the story has aspects that most films would have left out making a much weaker film. The eye for detail and these little lines of dialogue add so much more depth to this film. Without it the film would fall a little flat. I liked the story and what it had the offer. The only downside to the story is that a few of the scenes was very dialogue rich which made the film move very slowly.
Finally, this isn’t the gore filled flick that some of you may have wanted. The film is very story rich and character driven with a little blood but nothing that stands out. Overall, A Dark Song is a different style horror film that many will not appreciate. However, if you give it a chance you may just find yourself enjoying it.