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The Darkness


Who doesn't love a good scary movie?

Blumhouse has become a reliable provider of great little horror thrillers, a Hammer for today in giving us jolts that are entertaining and reliable.

THE DARKNESS is definitely one of their lesser efforts in the genre.

Peter Taylor (Kevin Bacon) and his family are on vacation near the Grand Canyon when his autistic son Michael is left alone and falls into a huge underground cavern.

Michael finds himself in an ancient Indian burial ground (insert cliche here) and takes a set of ritualistic stones home with him as a secret souvenir.

When the family gets back home, they are beset by increasing supernatural activity. There are some minor scares, but a hell of a lot more eye rolls from me than jumps scares.

One daughter suffers from severe bulimia and her condition is treated more as a gross out plot point than a serious condition.

We could have a whole conversation about the film treating autism as a convenient leverage for the supernatural, but no amount of voice overs and clips of articles about past native American spirits and autism helps make this anything but an awkward and insensitive script device.

The plot holes are bigger than the cave Michael falls into, including just how the hell he walked out of that massive underground hole.

The movie literally gives you no explanation, you just see him walking out to his family.

So scriptwriter, if its that easy to walk out of, explain to me why NO ONE has walked into it for the past hundred years.

Lazy and stupid aren't two attributes I look for in my horror thrillers.

Bacon does what he can, Paul Reiser (what- did his "Mad About You" syndication money run out?) has a really poorly written role as a lecherous boss that suddenly turns sympathetic and accepting, while Radha Mitchell (Man On Fire) is wasted playing Bacon's unappreciated wife.

Borrowing heavily from "The Brady Bunch" episode in which Bobby brought back that evil sacred tiki statue from the family's vacation in Hawaii and displaying all the dramatic flair of that TV sitcom, THE DARKNESS never quite finds the light.

Speaking of going into the light, the final scene has Bacon and his son crossing over just as the Freeling family did at the end of the Indian burial ground themed "Poltergeist II".

Oye. Please.

No one turn the light on. Let's leave this one in THE DARKNESS where it belongs and give it a D.

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