It’s 1:11 pm
Looking outside at cold day,the cheetah is crunching on some ostrich snacks and getting ready to help with our new review. It’s been over 100 films since we have ventured into IFC Midnight territory and quite honestly,that is real crime! Okay,just because the last time we watched one,it turned into the worst film we saw in 2017,shouldn’t leave us…dare I say it,scared to watch another,right???
With that in mind,we picked “A Dark Song” from our small stash of IFC related films to watch and away we went.
How far would you go do talk to a lost loved one? Especially if it was a small child who was murdered by a group of kids during a cult ritual? Well if you’re Sophia (Catherine Walker) and you are at your wit’s end,you fight fire with fire.
Despite living in Ireland,Sophia searches the whole of Great Britain to find the right person to perform an incredibly intense and dangerous ritual detailed in The Book of Abramelin. Sophia has had no luck because even the two people she finds that knows of it and potentially could undertake it,have refused. She only has one expert occultist left and that is Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram).
Sophia rents a large house in Wales and pays cash to lease it for one year. She makes sure it is sitting with important spaces in proper order. She then drives to the train station to pick up Solomon who is a bit of a bully and rude. Sophia ignores Solomon’s manners as he asks her several questions and details about the house. This is no mere seance,both Sophia and Solomon are going to locked in the house by the ritual for MONTHS and she has to understand that. She assures him she does and they drive out to the house where Solomon walks the grounds. Despite his insistence that Sophia be purified,we see Solomon has his own demon,he is a alcoholic.
The two sit outside and Solomon asks why Sophia is doing this,when she says “for love” in a vague and general way,he explodes in anger and demands to leave. He isn’t going to risk so much for a petty thing like a spurned love.
It’s only at the train station that Sophia comes clean and tells Joseph her real motive,to talk to her guardian angel and her dead son Jack. Solomon relents and they go back to the house.
Solomon sends Sophia out for supplies,up to 8 months worth because once they are sealed in,they are in. She runs into her sister who begs her to let her family help her but Sophia is having none of that,she gets her things and heads back.
Solomon prepares the house and once again asks Sophia if she wants to back out.
She is sure and the house is sealed and the ritual is started.
Solomon and Sophia begin and its a very rough ordeal as Sophia has to go without sleep or food a lot of the time. The two constantly fight and bicker as Sophia wants results and Solomon stressing patience. Sophia just want wants to make sure this works and that she isn’t going all this for no results. Solomon is growing uneasy as there is something that just isn’t quite right with his partner…..
That basically is all I want to share because to go any further would giveaway the meaning and point of “The Dark Song”. Only know that while its labeled a “horror” film,it really is much more then that,it is a spiritual film and a very good one at that. Don’t get me wrong,as with most Irish horror films,it does have its one or two good scares but its not a scary film as much as a emotional one and I was enchanted by it.
“A Dark Song” is carried squarely on the shoulders of Steve Oram and Catherine Walker and both are excellent as Solomon and Sophia. What is I really,really liked about first time director Liam Gavin,who also wrote this film,is how he establishes what Solomon is doing is completely real and he isn’t afraid to be afraid of what he is going to do. Solomon is no con man,while he is getting paid,money is not what drives him…that the subject truly understands what Solomon is going to put them through is more important.
Solomon’s skills and expertise is what gives “A Dark Song” its true scares even if isn’t seen on the screen in terms of action. Oram is brilliant and despite Solomon’s being a bit of a asshole,you find yourself liking him quite a bit.
Walker is beautiful as Sophia,she has had her world taken away and destroyed and she is looking for closure and peace. She is willing to give up everything and everyone,including Solomon,to get those things. I think the fact that she was so completely driven even overcoming a interaction with Solomon that she hadn’t bargained for,is proof enough Sophia will go the distance.
Liam Gavin has crafted a real masterpiece for his first film,thought provoking,a little scary and one of the best acted films that we have seen in a long time.
The film was filmed by Cathal Watters,who despite hating horror films,really did a bang up job here in making the house the unseen third actor of the movie.
Gavin’s ace in the hole and what really makes “A Dark Song” sing is the score by Ray Harmon,it is the best score in a film I have heard since “It Follows” and just as in that movie,the score sets the mood for everything that follows. It is a unsettling,disturbing score with heavy strings and percussion that never really lets the viewer get comfortable and in a film without a lot of “bang”,Harmon’s score carries the load and does so easily.
“A Dark Song” is rated “R” and has a run time of 100 minutes. Special features include interviews with cast and crew,trailer and deleted scenes.
I guess it shouldn’t come as a shock that “A Dark Song” is one of the year’s best for the cheetah and myself. You need to see this movie.
You can buy “A Dark Song” by clicking here.
Hello February! First off,I like to say “thank you” to you all for coming by and saying hello! The cheetah and I had two record breaking marks that we broke in January,first we had over 1,200 page views and we really are stoked on that. It means not only are we getting read but folks are starting to share our words with others. Thank you so much!!
The second number is 102. As in 102 people found us through IMDb where our reviews are posted. (As always,thank you Sean Cain!!!) This has been our best month by far for folks finding us. What makes it more remarkable are the film we review have hardly any traffic compared to all the “big” films like “The Last Jedi”,”Wonder Woman”,etc. The cheetah and I do love the smaller films and shorts…