The trend in Horror is to maximize the buildup of a picture and create suspenseful moments that link up eventually yielding a scare by creating or a moment of actual Horror rather than sleight of hand, movie tricks. This is the case with Dark Was the Night. While I enjoyed the buildup, the payoff didn’t satisfy my need to see a true creature feature which is another growing trend. While I realize that the best creature feature of the 50’s and 60’s were based on slow exposition with minimal monster before the climax, at least the monsters were completely unique and, while not scary, entertaining from that period. When the monster doesn’t work, the movie doesn’t kill.
What do you get in the way of a baddie? You get a CG monster, somewhat well done, but generic. That means you waited the entire movie to get a glimpse the thing terrorizing a woodland town only to discover that it really wasn’t much to look at. Imagine one of the Gozer dogs from Ghostbusters, less terrifying, looking computer-fake and ripping its way through a church. Honestly, I kept waiting for Rawhead Rex to show up and piss on this thing. I also kept thinking of the creature in Feast, but Feast was highly entertaining and didn’t take itself near as serious as Dark Was the Night.
I judge it harshly based on the lack of interest/enjoyment derived from the monster in the end, but the movie is actually well put together and has some dark moments that work. I don’t think the audience for which Dark Was the Night was made will dislike it and will most likely find a few scares and enough plot to keep them in their seat. Fans of The Strain TV series will enjoy Kevin Durrand’s performance which is pretty damn good.
Maiden Woods is a remote and quiet town of decent hard-working people, but something stirs in the dark woods surrounding this isolated community. After a logging company decimates an area of the forest, a rash of increasingly violent and unexplainable events transpires. Sheriff Paul Shields (Kevin Durand) and his deputy (Lukas Haas) struggle to confront their own personal demons while facing down a new breed of raw terror that is possibly older than humanity itself… And much, much hungrier.