Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the horror/mystery SOMEBODY’S DARLING (2016) by writer/director Sharad Kant Patel. To best describe the story, I will use my own plot summary:
“A brooding, privileged fraternity president becomes obsessed with a coed and seems set to give up his way of life to show her how much he cares, until dark secrets about his fraternity come to light.”
Since it is one of the most noticeable things early on, I feel a need to address the acting right up front: that is to say, the performances are relatively inconsistent across the board. It is easy to spot some of the better players versus the lesser, but even the more talented cast members seemed to trip up from time to time. For instance, one actor could be doing perfectly fine one scene and then the very next seem like they are trying too hard to act rather than just playing things naturally. I will grant, they are playing college kids (who are a bit overly dramatic to begin with), but this is my fair warning to the reader that they might have to suffer through some performance issues to get to the gold.
The real treasure here is the story which feels incredibly timely. The feature takes its time revealing things to the viewer so that we are left to wonder about what exactly is going on with the fraternity. By not offering up answers right away, the hints towards date rape or even the upper class trying to use those beneath them become things we ware forced to mull over. This felt appropriate as the dark, horrific secrets of the fraternity go pretty much hand in hand with the thematic thrust of the film.
What was really impressive is how the low budget nature of this movie actually worked to its advantage. There was a certain unpolished charm to the proceedings that emphasized some of the more uncomfortable moments. The implications of date rape, the random women lying in a seeming daze, and the lack of any on screen violence were made all the more uncomfortable because they were shown without any frills. By treating each of these things in such a matter of fact fashion, the sense of dread was heightened because we knew something bad was happening, just not what.
One other thing I feel the need to talk about is the finale, which I promise not to spoil. Personally, I enjoyed the conclusion as it managed to surprise me without ever feeling like they were trying to pull off a shock for the sake of shock. What I mean by that is, once we get all the facts, the ending makes sense, whether or not we like how it concludes.
All in all, this is a thematically relevant independent horror movie that has some uncomfortable moments. While the acting is hit or miss, the rest of this feels so relevant that it is worth a watch. To put it into Bret Easton Ellis terms: fans of American Psycho (2000) should watch this just to see what Patrick Bateman would act like if dropped onto the campus from The Rules of Attraction (2002).
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