Review: Confused Dark House Seeks an Identity

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Dark House Victor Salvareview score 5Apparently, there is a holy war happening in the back woods of some backwater small town deep in the South in order to unleash the ultimate evil on the world. But for some reason the ultimate evil likes to speak through air conditioner vents in a strange hidden identity voice to influence little boys’ art projects.

Because using the Internet or phone is so impersonal.

Dark House is a confused movie. It doesn’t really know what it wants to be. Nick has a troubling supernatural ability. He can sense if someone is going to die violently. If they just fade to black, nothing happens. But an axe to the brain, a heart being ripped from the chest or a throat being slashed, he sees it. Not surprisingly, he’s not very fun at parties. However, he does shack up with a random chick at a bar and flash forward a few years and Nick has a pregnant wife. But never knowing his father, Nick is obsessed with discovering who he was and if he might have any information as to why he has these strange powers.

Here’s where Dark House turns confusing.

When Nick and his buddies hook up with a local land survey team to discover the house where he thinks his father may have resided they are greeted by a homeless looking guy (Saw’s Tobin Bell) warning them to stay away. Soon, a few of his ax wielding homeless buddies show up and attack them. So, on one hand, we have what seems to be going for a crazy hordes of ax carrying madmen chasing seemingly innocent twentysomethings through a forest kind of vibe. But on the other hand develops a very Supernatural-type holy war going on between demons and angels.

Now, Dark House does a good job of disguising what is going on but it is filled with cliché horror bad decisions such as staying in the house after they had already been chased by homeless ax guys or opening a door that is clearly not meant to be open or having sex just after one of their buddies was gutted right in front of them. This doesn’t even get into the whole demons talking through air conditioner vents to small children to influence their crayon drawings.

Dark House has some decent production values considering it is a very low budget picture – the high definition cut looks great and the special effects area very well done (forgoing any CG effects for traditional props). And while there are some silly moments, there are also some good kill scenes (even if we get a preview via Nick) in Dark House and it has some of that Victor Salva (director of Jeepers Creepers) flare but there are no scares here and it really struggles with finding an identity for too long. 

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Weekend: Oct. 18, 2018, Oct. 21, 2018

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