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You delivered fine horror vehicles with Wolf Creek 1 and 2, and even croc shock horror movie, Rogue pulled some pretty deft punches in the genre.

But The Darkness leaves is decisively under par in comparison.

You have a strong A-Lister in Kevin Bacon and equally strong actress Radha Mitchell alongside him and yet the movie fails to deliver any scares or thrills.

My hunch is that this is perhaps down to a stark difference between McLean’s previous movies and The Darkness.

The previous films rely on exteriors and the external threats to our protagonists (which is no easy feat to convey so hats off to McLean on these previous outings) and how they deal with these attacks in order to survive.

The Darkness has to rely heavily on the internal struggle.

The audience must see the plight of the family and the fractures between them already that the Djinn can then exploit and take advantage of.

In other words the foundations need to be set in play before the troubles can really begin.

Instead, we see the family on a trip to the Canyon where they disturb a sacred ground.

In doing so, the demons follow them home and then start to ebb away at their flaws.

If enough focus was shone on their weaknesses beforehand there would have been more elbow room to play with here.

Instead, when the chances arise to cause a rift between them all, it feels too forced and contrived.

And in some cases, it feels like an after-thought to be tacked on after the plot line has been put together.

“Oh wouldn’t it be great, if we revealed that he has an affair?”, or “What about if we reveal that the daughter has bulimia?”

It would be one thing if the performances themselves were believable but they’re not and your left with one big mess, where nothing really ties together because of it.

It’s a real shame as I do like McLean’s work and hope this is just a momentary blip in his career. Based on the trailer for his next movie, The Belko Experiment, there’s hope that this might be the case as it does look promising. 

Fingers crossed.

  • Paul Farrell