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Saturday, August 29, 2020

FANTASIA 2020 REVIEW: THE DARK AND THE WICKED



On a secluded farm in a nondescript rural town, a man is slowly dying. His family gathers to mourn, and soon a darkness grows, marked by waking nightmares and a growing sense that something evil is taking over the family.

Starring: Marin Ireland, Michael Abbott Jr., and Xander Berkeley

Directed and written by: Bryan Bertino

A Fantasia International Film Festival Review

“The Dark and the Wicked”… 
“The Dark and the Wicked”… 
“The Dark and The Wicked!” Get to know this title and movie as soon as you can. Without a doubt it lives up to it’s name starting off dark, and ending very wickedly. Prepare yourself to join this family on a week long journey of true terror!
  Louise (Marin Ireland) and Michael (Michael Abbott Jr.) have come back to their parent’s farm to help their mom (Julie Oliver-Touchstone) take care of their dying dad (Michael Zagst). Dad is basically stuck in a comma, and apparently there’s an evil presence just waiting for him to pass away. Their mom makes it clear she didn’t want them there, and soon enough they see why. The spirit finishes toying with mom, as she dies horribly, and now it’s ready to play with her kids.
  

  This movie will give the audience that unsettling feeling from the beginning. Everything’s set on a farm with more farm animals around than people. The house always seems dim no matter what time of day it is, and it’s especially dark at night. Sounds of the wind passing through, and some howling in the distance won’t calm anyone’s nervous. 
  The stage is set, and now it’s time for the movie to get darker and a whole lot wicked. There are some brutal scenes starting with mom. Lets just say anytime someone has a knife, or sharp object get ready. There's a scene with a neighbor that's freaky as hell, and then there’s an absolutely heart breaking death that shows just how tricky this presence can be. One of the best things about this spirit is that it's never given a true form. It’s never seen, and instead ends up taking control of people. And even when this becomes apparent the audience will never know what it’s intentions are. Sometimes it’s there to scare, and other times to kill.
  

  After many of the scares the movie gives the siblings, and audience a chance to regroup. They have several conversations about their parents, and what’s happening. It’s hard for them to take in what’s going on, and really have no where to turn. They aren’t even sure what to do with a priest (Xander Berkeley) that shows up because their family has never been religious. It becomes very easy to feel sorry for them because the situation continues to become more ominous as the week progress.
  “The Dark and The Wicked” is brought to horror fans by Bryan Bertino, writer and director of another amazing movie, “The Strangers.” In some ways he uses a similar formula to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. He presents two characters that the audience will root for, and put them in a situation that looks more dreadful by the day. As opposed to three strangers, this time they’re tortured mentally and physically by something no one can see. It will be even more merciless than the strangers, as it makes their world collapse. This presence is dark, wicked, brutal, and unforgettable without giving it a true face. And to bring it all together are great performances by Marin, Michael, Xander, and everyone who plays a role in this scarefest! Again, it’s dark, it’s wicked, it’s a must see, and it’s easily earned 5 pools of blood!

  HorrO


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