Salutations my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,
Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “From the Dark” concerns a couple crossing the Celtic countryside clashing with a creature.
The setup is common territory as we often see the stranded tourist story and our leading couple are a cute pair, but rarely rise above standard fare. This plot is not big on innovation since even a late in the game revelation is something we have all seen before in the horror films of yore. Eventually the throwback feel became part of this movie’s appeal as they visually referenced a horror great yet brought it completely up to date.
They ably used the creature to allude to a classic horror feature, but took a design that is well known and made it wholly their own. Part of this was in the writing as they never refer to the monster they are fighting though before it ever enters the frame most of us will know its name. To keep things feeling ripe they tweaked the common archetype and took things in their own direction while still preserving the classical connection.
Unlike the horror features of old which boasted scores that were big and bold this film is almost completely silent even when things start to get violent. Before the brutality takes center stage they operate by the old adage that “The unknown is the most frightening thing” a quality which they most definitely bring. By keeping the creature hidden from view and not having a score to give us a clue it is hard to tell when he will appear which only helps to heighten the fear.
One new trick they added that I found ineffective was occasionally showing the monster’s perspective which I think is worth a mention since it broke up the well-established tension. It did not help that we only saw his point of view started cropping up over halfway through which made it feel uncalled for since the tone was established well before. Beyond that one unfortunate addition the pacing deserves recognition as they kept it feeling quick and compact which gave it the perfect amount of impact.
In conclusion, this picture uses many old fashioned tricks while adding a few new ones to the mix by taking a classical killer and putting him in a modern chiller.
Stick to the shadows my fine friends.
Mr. William Nightshade