The Darkness

The latest laughable title from Bumhouse is The Darkness, not to be confused with the rock band of the same name – though like the band, this film is shrill and doomed to be forgotten.

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Was Ethan Hawke busy?

First off, I wouldn’t trust Jason Blum to make popcorn, let alone a film. His most recent production isn’t so much a movie as a cliché checklist. Indian burial ground? Check. Haunted appliances? Check. Radha Mitchell? Check.

The film checklist opens with Kevin Bacon (it was a Wednesday after all) and his family on a camping holiday, where his son (David Mazouz) finds some black stones that bring a curse upon Kevin Bacon’s family. Not since David Cameron’s encounter with that pig* has Bacon been so thoroughly fucked.

This sort of thing? Check.

This sort of thing? Check.

After what feels like forever, we learn (from a YouTube video, naturally) that Bacon Jr. has awoken “the Dark People” (bit racist), who are demons bound to these ancient rocks. We also learn that Kevin Bacon is just as convincing warding off evil as flogging broadband.

And that’s it – 90 minutes of horror tropes strung together not at all. The dialogue is even worse than Friend Request, and that was written by Germans. “Your whole team is down ten percent!” yells Bacon’s boss. I don’t know what that means; only that Rotten Tomatoes has the film well below ten percent.

The special effects are so cheaply rendered that they make Tremors look like a documentary. There are flashes of light and loud bangs, and none of the characters react. And neither do we. At one point the son watches ParaNorman on his phone, which is a far scarier movie – and that’s a kids film.

This is all standard stuff for the weekly horror flick that briefly bothers cinemas en route to Netflix. But The Daftness also manages to exploit alcoholism, anorexia and autism. This might be ok if the film was scary or cared at all. Here’s how much it cares: the daughter (Lucy Fry) apparently forgets she’s anorexic when heading to the kitchen for a midnight snack, all in the name of a cheap and ineffectual jump scare.

*Allegedly.

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