In the Dark

Year: 2004
Director: Slater Kane
Cast: Matt Cinquanta, Atom Gorelick, Mara Marini, Brandon Noll

Count me as one who loves the whole documentary sub-genre of horror created by "Cannibal Holocaust" and made popular more recently by both "The Blair Witch Project" and "The Last Broadcast." Though not a huge explosion of these types of films have popped up, there is a handful out there, such as "Strawberry Estates," "The St. Francisville Experiment," and "The Collingswood Story." These films attempt to frighten the audience by giving them a unique perspective of witnessing the events of the plot unfold through the eyes of a character's own camera lense or, in some cases (such as here), a security camera. Additionally, these films often advertise themselves as being "real, authentic footage!" when in fact, any viewer with any brains knows differently. Often times, these films are able to create adequate suspense and uneasiness. Unfortunately, this is not one of those instances and is really a smear and insult to its much better predecessors.

"In the Dark" presents itself as "real" footage of the events that take place when a group of teenagers break into an abandoned, burned asylum, where years before, a few of them did *something* (raped?) to a female inmate that left her scarred after they started a fire to cover their crime. The footage is presented dually through the camera lense of one of the teens and through security cameras present in and outside the building. Why does a abandoned asylum that is barely standing because of fire damage need security cameras you ask? Well, you're guess is as good as mine and that is just one of many things wrong with this film. You see, viewers are to believe that the girl inmate who was picked on knows that these teens are in this abandoned asylum on Halloween night, is able to escape her current institution and come to seek her revenge. She is presented here are sort of a cross between a possessed Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" and a zombie from the "Dawn of the Dead" remake, which is puzzling considering she is supposedly just a burn victim. Better (or worse) yet, she is able to smuggle of few other inmates out of her facility to help scare the crap out of the teens. You'd think, since money was invested to have working security cameras in the decrepit asylum, that the security would have been a hell of a lot better at the new one! Apparently not....apparently no security cameras at the new asylum captured a few of the inmates walking out to go wreak havoc next door.

The film's main flaw is the fact that is is extremely boring and filled with extremely bad actors who are portraying annoying characters we could give a crap less about. We are subjected to long scenes of one of the more annoying characters filming himself make rude comments and mock his equally annoying mother, and act like a total jackass in detailing his plan to sneak out while his mother is fast asleep behind him in the couch. This scene has to be seen to be believed and my jaw was dropped at the ridiculousness I was witnessing. Long scenes of virtually nothing happening are presented as apparently the director's idea of suspense; characters whine and fight with each other and sort of act scared, but for some reason never all just decide to group together and leave the place. After all, there was about 9 of them and only one "killer." Again, nothing about these characters is even remotely interesting and I really just wanted them all to die. The film also feels about 20 minutes too long and the pacing is just horrid. I really really had to stop my self from hitting the fast forward button on my DVD remote, or worse yet, just ejecting the damn thing altogether.

"The Blair Witch Project" worked because it felt real. The acting was superb and there was no ridiculous plot elements that felt fake. Everything the viewer saw and heard looked and felt authentic and it was scary as hell. This film feels fake. There is no suspense because some of the things that unfold (particularly the ending) are so implausible that it is an insult to viewers. I only hope that the filmmakers really did not expect people to believe this was "real" footage because they failed miserable. Avoid this borefest at all costs.

Fright Meter Grade:

No comments:

Post a Comment