Darkness – film review (3rd Horror Review of FEST MAKABRA)
The Devil’s Lair is infamous. A teenage girl died there years ago, and since then, dark stories have been circulating about this place. Josef (Karl Markovics) goes to this place and, after reaching it, falls victim to a terrible monster – bloodthirsty Mina (Nadia Alexander). The girl unexpectedly saves the blind Alex (Toby Nichols) from the hands of the kidnapper. A frightened teenager, not realizing who his savior is, begins the journey with Mina. The girl tries to persuade the boy to return home. The outcasts spend the night in the woods avoiding a search party. However, Mina has to satisfy her animal hunger, and Alex is constantly worried that Josef will come back for him.
Darkness tells the story of two teenagers who are sexually abused by adults. We don’t know much about Alex, but his reluctance to go home is very strong. We learn a little more about Mina’s past, an artistically talented teen who was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. At some point, however, the girl can’t stand it and attacks her tormentor. This leads to her death and, consequently, turning into a monster. Mina looks like a zombie at first glance, but her skills are beyond the capabilities of the average brain eater. He is able to kill anyone without hesitation, no matter what his intentions are. We cheer for her when she cracks down on Josef, but disappointment quickly comes when she takes the guts of innocent victims.
However, it is difficult to watch “Darkness” literally. Mina’s killings are intended to show the viewer how distrustful and hostile to everyone the girl has become, whose adults have destroyed her sense of security. Her opposite is Alex, still scared, afraid to talk to his mother, unbelieving that his nightmare is over. The blind boy, however, cannot find out what a monster Mina is for most. She knows only her good side – a caring and helpful defender. It is an ideal arrangement for both. Alex rebuilds a sense of security and confidence, and Mina can prove to herself that despite the harm she has suffered, she can still mean something.
Justin P. Lange’s film is not a classic horror film. We will not experience jump scares or a dense and dark atmosphere here. The only elements are the bloody scenes of the execution of Mina’s victims, but most of the time it is a youth drama about the impact of sexual abuse by adults on the minds of young people.
Nadia Alexander is doing well in the lead role. The young actress has already made herself known from the good side in the series “Grzesznica” and “Seven Seconds”, but this time the task was much more difficult. As Mina, she can accurately convey the complicated emotional state of her character. Her relationship with Alex, played by Toby Nichols, is also very good.
“Darkness” will not satisfy fans of typical horror movies, because there is not much scaring here, but it tells a difficult and moving story of two teenagers fighting their internal demons. Unconventional horror movies are still a niche, so it’s good that “Dark” is a worthy representative of the genre.