Indie filmmaker David Spaltro's follow up to his award-winning Things I Don't Understand, titled ...In The Dark, is an independently produced horror feature. Like Spaltro's earlier films, this is also set in modern day New York.
The story concerns Bethany (Grace Folsom), a talented young artist who starts having strange experiences after her father's passing. Her distressed mother (Catherine Cobb Ryan) seeks help from Professor Kearne (Fiona Horrigan), an experienced and renowned specialist in paranormal activities. Together with sceptical grad student Veronica (Lynn Justinger), Kearne visits the house that appears haunted and the pair soon finds themselves coming face-to-face with forces that are much stronger and much more evil than they would ever imagine.
It is clear that the script (also by Spaltro) was written following some detailed research into mental illnesses and with a great familiarity with the horror genre. There is even a part that pokes gentle fun at a timeless horror classic. What is particularly refreshing about ...In The Dark, despite some inevitable similarities to other horror films, is the emphasis it places on its characters. While they are wildly different people, they share something in common in that they all find themselves having to face their own inner demons while trying to fight against the evil forces in the house.
The predominantly female cast give universally good performances. Folsom is excellent (just like she was in Things I Don't Understand) as a deeply troubled girl, Justinger is likeable as the vulnerable young lady who comes to believe, while Fiona Horrigan and Catherine Cobb Ryan are both convincing in their roles as two very strong women. Also worth a special mention is the excellent make up effects by Monster In My Closet on Folsom in her transformation from a healthy to very sick individual.
The film is nightmarish and filled with an atmosphere of dread. There are some frightening scenes and some shocking ones throughout the film, which eventually lead to one final showdown. I was a little let down by the film's climactic scene, which doesn't quite live up to Kearne's detailed description of what one might expect. The resolution felt rather too easy considering the incredible power of the forces that viewers have witnessed in the earlier parts of the film.
Having said that, ...In The Dark is a movie that boasts a good story and strong cast, as well as a dark atmosphere and some genuinely scary moments. Both horror and drama fans should find much to enjoy in this film.
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