Friday, June 24, 2011

Be Kind, Review: The VHS Reviews ~ The Dark (1993)

"It Will Consume You."

Synopsis: The story involves two men who are searching for the same thing: an ancient creature who lives beneath the surface of a graveyard and feeds on recently buried corpses. The first man (Stephen McHattie, 'Watchmen', 'A History of Violence') is a scientist who wants to capture the creature for its remarkable healing properties, believing that humans can benefit from it. The other man (Brion James, 'Blade Runner', 'The Fifth Element') is a former F.B.I. agent who is obsessed with killing the monster to avenge his partner, who years ago had been killed by the creature.

My Thoughts: A few weeks back on my podcast we reviewed a fairly unknown sci-fi/horror flick from 1979 called 'The Dark'. Well, here's an even lesser known sci-fi/horror movie called 'The Dark'. Made 14 years later (and no, it's not a remake), this Canadian creature feature stars a young Neve Campbell right before her 'Scream' & 'Party of Five' fame.

If you're in the mood for a good late night popcorn movie, you could do a lot worse than 'The Dark'. This low budget monster movie is without a doubt a homage to the creature features of the 50's. It's certainly no classic, but it does have a kind of b-movie charm (and a few funny moments) that keep it from getting boring.
The acting is just okay. Stephen McHattie who has shown off his great acting ability in other films (like 'Pontypool') is just average here. Maybe it was just me, but he seemed to be impersonating Lance Henriksen for some odd reason. The casting of Brion James was perfect in his usual tough guy role. Neve Campbell was a different story, but it was interesting to see her trying to play a cop. She couldn't have been much older than 18 or 19. I guess in a movie like this, what's the difference.
The make-up effects were much better than expected for a movie of this caliber. The creature, who tunneled around the cemetery looking for his next meal, was really creative. It looked like some kind of mutated rodent. The kills were pretty well done, although not much gore (after all, it was the 90's).
6 / 10
My Rating: 6 / 10

Not too bad for a 1990's low-budget Canadian horror flick. I'm surprised that this one was never released on DVD during the height of Neve Campbell's popularity (1998-2000). Since it wasn't, once again VHS is our only option. It was released by 'Imperial Entertainment Video' in 1994 and used copies are going for about 8 bucks on amazon.

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