Director – Bryan Bertino (The Strangers, The Monster)
Starring – Marin Ireland (The Umbrella Academy, Hell or High Water), Michael Abbott Jr. (Fear the Walking Dead, The Death of Dick Long), and Julie Oliver-Touchstone (Preacher, Blood Suckers from Outer Space)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 2.5/5
I’m shocked by the amount of new movies I’m getting in these last few weeks for review. The pandemic has put a stop on so many different aspects of our lives and I’m surprised that so many movies are being released this late in the year. A few days ago I received the horror thrillers Possessor and Sleepless Beauty. Just a day or so after those arrived I received the religious horror film The Dark and the Wicked from RLJE to review. I love a good religious horror tale so I couldn’t wait to dive into this one. Thanks RLJE for sending this one over!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a brother and sister pair that return to their family’s cabin while their father’s health deteriorates. After his death they find an evil presence taking over their farm and soon their mother succumbs to it. By the time the two discover something is wrong it’s too late and they are in the middle of the madness. **Spoiler Alert**
I was so excited for this one when I tossed it in. With just moments I saw that it had amazing atmosphere and brilliant tension but was lacking the story to give it the feature length run time that it needed. The movie wasn’t for me but it was well worth the watch just for the look of the film.
The acting in this one wasn’t for me. The cast wasn’t bad but I struggle to get into a film where the leads scream or cry the entire time. Marine Ireland is a phenomenal actress that I first noticed with The Umbrella Academy but she is severely underutilized here. Honestly, her character is rather pointless to the story and could have been written out with little to no affect to the story. The supporting cast is decent but the characters blend into the background.
The story for this one is great but there is not enough content to make a 90 minute film. If a lot of the pointless and dull scenes were trimmed out this film could run around 40 minutes and it would be absolutely fantastic. The imagery, scenery, atmosphere, and set up is absolutely brilliant. I really enjoyed so much about this film but the pointless scenes that only add to the film’s runtime serves nothing which makes it a little tough to sit through.
Finally, this film relies on the scene to be creepy, which is succeeds at, while giving us some great practical effects. The film isn’t a gory one but it is effective if you are willing to sit through some slow burning scenes. The effects work for the film but don’t expect a gory masterpiece. Overall, The Dark and the Wicked is not a movie that I will be revisiting anytime soon but it did have some memorable moments and amazing aesthetics. I love the look of the film and the plot but the execution and running time is against it. It’s worth at least one viewing but don’t expect something that is genre defining.