DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

DARK WAS THE NIGHT (director: Jack Heller; screenwriter: Tyler Hisel; cinematographer: Ryan Samul; editors: Paul Covington, Toby Yates, Tim Donovan; music: Darren Morze; cast:  Kevin Durand (Paul Shields), Lukas Haas (Donny Saunders), Bianca Kajlich (Susan Shields), Nick Damici (Earl), Health Freeman (Jim), Ethan Khusidman (Adam Shields), Sabina Gadecki (Clair), Steve Agree (Jesse, foreman), Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum (Creature Performer), Billy Paterson (Ron); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Joey Carey, Jack Heller, Dylan K. Narang, Stefan Nowicki, Dallas Sonnier; Image Entertainment/Sundial Pictures; 2015)

"An atmospheric creature fright film competently directed by Jack Heller."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An atmospheric creature fright film competently directed by Jack Heller ("Enter Nowhere"). Tyler Hisel’s script keeps things intriguing even if the plot is predictable and the narrative is far from original. It's another version of the man-beast myth, something I appreciated more in Larry Fessenden's Wendigo (2001).

The special effects and visual effects are very good, and it ends with a magical final shot by the talented cinematographer Ryan Samul.

After a logging company comes to the rural fictitious Maiden Woods, in upstate NY (filmed in Southampton, N.Y.), a strange mysterious force is unleashed in the woods outside of town. The demonic force threatens the safety of the townies. The guilt-ridden Sheriff Paul Shields (Kevin Durand), who is still grieving his son's death, struggles within to get his act together so he can get rid of his inner demons and do his job to protect the citizens from a cloven-hoofed demon. Lukas Haas, a transplant from New York City, plays his troubled but loyal deputy.

The tree-dweller supernatural Monster (Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum), fighting against the ruining of the environment by the greedy real estate developers, is kept unseen until the climax, though the results of its attacks are effectively shown.  

REVIEWED ON 5/17/2016       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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