"Five twenty-something friends go on their annual camping trip to the rugged coast of Vancouver Island. While catching up and enjoying each other's company, they run into a British man and two Australian surfers also partying on Sombrio Beach. After a physical confrontation that ends in bloodshed, everything starts to spiral out of control as the Canadian campers are pushed into a grueling fight against man and nature to survive."
DARK COVE is the first feature film from director Rob Willey and I was immediately sucked into their awesome marketing, especially their logo designs and titling on the horror poster. The film was shot on the Canadian Coast on Vancouver Island which allowed for some great scenery, however the film fell flat with one of the most generic story-lines of a horror film I've ever watched.
The film focuses on a bunch of friends who end up taking a camping trip to Dark Cove. Most of the characters were plain college students and had no development of interesting aspects of their personalities. Basically, they were getting high and wasted and talking about their boring college relationship drama.
As I mentioned before, the scenery added some beautiful landscape shots of the island by Director of Photography, Ian Macphee. I don't necessarily know if that is a stage name but bravo to to him because he was the only reason why I continued to watch the film. Honestly, DARK COVE felt like a bunch of frat boys who had money to make a feature and decided to do so. Not necessarily a good idea.
Though the majority of the actors were hard to watch and had incredibly offensive fake Australian accents, there was one that was developed enough to make me laugh. Rob Abbate, who played Joey Deezio, a sexually frustrated male character who kept on talking about vaginas and boobs and I had respect for that character as he had some great comedy improv.
One of my favorite shots of the entire film was the opening shot where Joey (Rob Abbate) was walking through the kitchen at his part-time dead-end job was beautiful! I have to give credit where credit is due and this film did have smooth, beautiful cinematography and fantastic production design.
In the future, I would suggest putting money into a well developed script. I get that it's your first feature film but even investing in a smaller project first would be a better move. This is tough love coming from an indie film director so I hope Rob Willey improves in the future.
Mary C. Russell
DARK COVE is now available to rent or own on iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Vimeo, XBox and more in the US and Canada. The film is also available on Canadian Cable platforms Shaw, Bell and MTS.