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Grief can drive people to the extreme. Their senses numbed by the inner pain that they are trying to relinquish. The means in which they choose to do so can vary, and one can’t quite predict which direction or even the lengths that people will go to in order to feel human or re-connect with those they’ve lost again.

From Black chooses one of these paths when a young mother, Cora (Anna Camp – True Blood), a drug addict, is struggling to come to terms with her son’s disappearance five years ago. When at a rehabilitation centre, Cora meets Abel (John Ales – 9 Bullets), a man who claims to have lost a daughter, but curiously presents her with the option to not only revisit her past, but potentially correct the mistakes she made. As always with these promises, it comes with a catch; a price must be paid. The question is how far is she willing to go in order to see her son again and right the wrongs?

Thomas Marchese along with his co-writer Jessub Flower explore the ramifications of venturing into the dark arts for his second feature length movie from the Director’s chair. Some of the elements are all-too-familiar terrain, sparking similar themes explored in A Dark Song. There’s no question about the acting range with both leads cementing their characters with emotional depth. The entity that is drawn forth by the duo is also well portrayed with a nicely created look, emerging from the shadows to haunt and torment Cora. 

Where the film does fall down is through the pace of the piece, shifting and ambling along at a snail’s pace that it’s hard to keep your attention focused on the narrative. There are moments that feel like short features in their own right but stringing these together to provide cohesion and still be entertaining can be a struggle.

The Prognosis:

There is a decent playing field on show here to wade through the grief and despair of a lost child, but too often the pace of the film lets down this concept.
Hats off to the creature design and some of the tension that is drawn out, especially towards the end of the feature,

  • Saul Muerte

From Black is streaming on Shudder ANZ from Fri 28th Apr.