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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dark Haul (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

Dark Haul comes to you as a SyFy release via Scream Factory on Blu-ray. I must admit that I am not one of the dearly devoted SyFy channel fans and thus did not expect much from Dark Haul, a title that didn’t seem to get much promotion via social media from the S.F. team. Think of this release in much the same way that Scream Factory puts out Chiller Films titles every so often, most of them not quite worth the label their on. I always commend the Factory for trying to put out new horror, non-retro nostalgia favorites because it’s damn difficult for folks to find new horror that isn’t placating the horror fan or trying to piggyback on the success of a theatrical release. That doesn’t mean that the releases up to this point always work. Sure they’ve gotten their hands on The Battery or Cockneys vs. Zombies, but those are balanced with unworthy titles like Dead Souls or even Monkey’s Paw (which I enjoyed to a degree) that don’t quite make the grade. With that said, Scream has The Babadook and Extraterrestrial hitting Blu soon, so if you aren’t taken with Dark Haul, there’s plenty of original, independent horror coming your way that will knock your socks off.

What works for Dark Haul? I have a special place in my heart for Tom Sizemore. His performance in Natural Born Killers always freaked me out and despite her more recent endeavors I’m always willing to give him a chance. He’s not bad at all in this one, but I think many of you familiar with his work in Saving Private Ryan maaaay be let down. The opening scene is strong though I think we’ve seen this before. The birth scene, gone awry, filled with monster mayhem (or just twinklings of it). I suppose when you’ve been given movies like Pro-Life and It’s Alive or even the dream sequence in Cronenberg’s The Fly, you need to make sure you’re creature effects are in play. Don’t hide the good stuff. Dark Haul is first and foremost a monster movie, a creature feature. I found the beast to be a status quo. It’s not as bad as the monster from Creature, but if you wanted that bad guy to impress,  I think using a glorified Tales from the Darkside The Movie rip-off isn’t the way to go (remember that winged monster and the baby monsters!?)

In truth Dark Haul has some entertaining moments, but it’s not comparable to the movies on the Scream Factory roster that really work, retro title or new release. It looks great and the cover art is enticing though perhaps the movie would do better with more high profile, big gun action sequences rather than slow methodical monster chase. Still, I did enjoy the last 5 minutes or so and that may be worth sticking around for.

You can pick up Dark Haul from Scream Factory now. It won’t be the worst monster movie you see this year.


From Scream Factory:


The meaning of a cryptic prophecy divides a team of secretive guardians as they attempt to transport a deadly creature and its half-human sister in an 18-wheeler truck to a more secure location. But a hidden agenda undermines their mission, releasing the beast, and they end up battling for the fate of the world when the true meaning of the prophecy is discovered. Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Heat) and Evalena Marie (Remains) star in this mysterious and thrilling creature feature that delivers pulse-pounding action and eye-popping effects at every turn!

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