THE DARKNESS WITHIN
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A young couple move into a new apartment only to find that their
neighbor is a peeping Tom. If they don't unlock the secret to this
mysterious voyeur soon, they may lose everything, including their minds.
Is it good movie?
Our young couple in this flick aren't a young and happy couple.
Ashley's cheated on Chad before, but he's a raging alcoholic. They're
moving into a new place and have a creepy neighbor who peeps on them
and just seems to be everywhere they don't want him to be. Chad just
can't seem to shake the image of the imposing and passive Mr. Reed.
Poor Chad can't get any help from the police or his lazy, weird slacker
landlord (with horrid Boston accents). From here, the movie turns into
a 'is this really happening, or is the alcoholic guy going nuts' sort
Taking a cue from better movies that preceded it, Darkness Within is a
journey into madness. Poor Chad can't get any help from the police or
his lazy, weird slacker landlord. I'll start my criticism by saying
this ia very low budget film. It doesn't look great. The colors are
muted, the audio quality is poor (and all over the place) and the shots
themselves aren't overly creative- there's a ton pf jump-cut quick
edits that drove me nuts. It does feel a bit homemade and for me, that
was tough to get past at times.
With that out of the way, this story does manage to deliver some of the
goods as it goes along. Presented in three acts, The Darkness Within
can be a pretty gripping tale. The first act sets things up for us and
shows us the typical banter of a not-quite-perfect couple as they make
their way through the day. The second act is the real meat of the
story, where poor Chad's anxiety ramps up to unhealthy levels and the
third act is where the story wraps up and provides a big twist that
admittedly got me.
In terms of performances, Chad is played quite well by Jimmy Scanlon,
and creepy Mr. Reed is the scene stealer played by Sean Pierce. In
fact, at times it's hard not to cheer for the neighbor as the guy turns
in a great performance. Unfortunately on the negative side of things,
Michele Romano came off embarrassing and amateurish in her role as
Ashley. The girl just got under my skin.
There's not a whole lot else for me to say here. This film has a decent
story, but some obvious technical limitations make it hard to buy into.
Almost all of the movie takes place in one apartment, the audio
problems are frustrating and the performances can be hit and miss. With
that said, if you're into indie horror and want something with a decent
story this'll be right up your alley. If you expect your new girlfriend
to watch this with you, you'll likely need to look for a new gal.
Video / Audio
Video and Audio specs are not listed, but as
mentioned in my review, this isn't a technical powerhouse by any means.
Video is grainy and shots are shaky, and audio levels are inconsistent
and hard to hear at times.
First up is a Gag Reel of
blown shots, flubbed lines and the giggles. It runs about 7 minutes
There's also a Music Video by
Thicker Than Blood called Keep me Conscious, and it's directed by Dom
Portalla, this movie's director.
A teaser and full trailer for this film are also
Finally, there are three short flicks
from Dom Portalla included called The
Followers (about social networking and office dating), Double Date (a dark conversation
with a split personality lamenting a bad date), and Angel's Lullaby, reflecting on the
last moments of a captured mobster. These are neat inclusions but have
nothing to do with the film. Also worth noting is that you'll see some
familiar faces in each film.
I can't recommend The Darkness Within to just anyone, but it does
represent a great starting point for what seems to be a competent
director with a cast full of potential. If you want to see a potential
"before they were stars" flick, maybe this will be up your alley.