LEFT IN DARKNESS
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Steven R. Monroe
What's it about
A sexy girl with a ghostly guardian winds up at a party where she is drugged, raped and then dies on her 21st birthday. But this isn't the end of the movie, it’s just the beginning. She winds up between heaven and hell with her guardian by her side as they fight off demons out to eat her soul.
Is it good movie?
Nothing gets on my nerves more than when a great concept gets poorly executed. This movie takes its time setting up many rules, most of which are interesting even if a couple are flawed, and I followed right along with everything up until a crucial point in the movie where it unfortunately fell a bit flat, but overall, it wound up being a good flick.
There isn’t a huge laundry list of problems to run down, but here are some of the things that irked me. With an 88 minute running time, the movie took over an hour to establish all the rules in the limbo world which only left so long to get to the action and the conclusion. Most of the time, Celia (Monica Keena) would make a decision on which would then lead to her being chased by the Soul Eaters for a short time before she would make it back to safety. This all leads to another problem I had; the good guys don’t seem to have anything to defend themselves with. The bad guys are demons with claws and such who can take on the form of any soul they’d devour who search for more souls for dinner. In the meantime, the good guys would simply run away to another hiding place. Blah. Also, while the conclusion wasn’t terrible, it was just missing something that would’ve kept me “in” the movie. Oh, and Monica Keena’s cleavage is such a tease, give us what we want!
However,the multitude of ideas that were set up were interesting, and you could easily follow how they’re used so the story wasn't too tough to undersant. It wasn’t a very action-oriented film, it was more about the characters so it was a relief to find that most of the acting was well done. I found Monica Keena to be merely average in Freddy vs. Jason, but here she did a better job. David Anders plays her afterlife guru of sorts and did a good job, as did Tim Thomerson in the role of her grandfather. The FX were minimal but worked for what was needed, though gorehounds won’t find much here, it wasn’t about that. The directing was handled well and overall the film was well made with the low budget it was on.
Video / Audio
The disc is presented in 1:85:1 (and enhanced for you lucky folks with widescreen TV’s)
Aurally there’s the option for Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Surround 2.0.
We get a standard EPK type making of feature that runs around fourteen minutes.
A standard. but somewhat lackluster commentary from the film's director and line producer.
There's a short featurette of different cast members discussing their 21st birthdays, and last but not least, some trailers.
I think I waltzed into this one thinking it'd be more of a good vs. evil afterlife fight, and instead I got a character-driven drama/horror that surprised me with a really good idea.. but I felt more could have been done with it, but what is here is good and worth a rental.