It’s 6:44 pm
The cheetah and I have had a pretty good 2018 so far in terms of reviewing films,last year we had our fair share of clunkers but this year as been pretty good,right?
What is so funny is how I love to brag on IFC releases and yet it has been their horror releases that are put out under IFC Midnight that have produced some of the clunkers.
Last year the worst film we watched was a IFC Midnight title and sad to say that we have a early contender in “Darkness Rising” for the worst of 2018. How bad was it? I fell asleep at the 13 minute mark while the cheetah continued to watch it.
When I woke up,he had hacked up two furballs and left them in my shoes. Now that is pretty damn bad. But it could have been worse,he could have arrested me for cheetah abuse as he is basking in his “honorary” police cheetah status for the Troy Police Dept.
Instead,he is making me write this review based on his notes.
Now this is the part of the review where we talk about the movie’s story and leave you with a spoiler-free cliffhanger….but since we really have NO idea what the story is about other then a haunted house that may or may not be actually alive. When Maddie goes back to the house where her mother went nuts and killed her sister 25 years ago to get some closure,she drags along her boyfriend Jake and her cousin Izzy for the ride….
The cast…..this film has a really small cast in it’s three leads. Tara Holt plays Maddie,a 28 year old school teacher who is haunted by her past…which I found rather interesting since she was three years old when this tragedy took place. Holt has a good pair of lungs which is great because she pretty screeches for over half the film.
Bryce Johnson plays Jake,Maddie’s understanding boyfriend….he manages to stay somewhat normal until he meets a supposed “ghost dog” where upon he loses his shit and starts overacting on the level that would put Eric Roberts to shame.
The most talented actor of the threee,the dashing Katrina Law,plays cousin Izzy who attempts to put forth a balanced effort but the script just sinks her as well. How bad does her Izzy hate her part? So bad that she puts bleach in her eyes so she doesn’t have to see screenwriter Vikram Weet’s words anymore. Oh course the cheetah said that Katrina deserved this fate as she killed Victoria Pratt in “Death Valley” and it was time for payback!
Oh and Ted Raimi pulls a Bruce Willis and pops in for a 3 minute cameo that adds zero to the mess that is rising on our screen.
“Darkness Rising” is the feature length directing debut by Austin Reading and I feel rather bad for him,he had a God awful story to work with and is terribly letdown by the worst set design of any film we have reviewed. It’s clear that designer Melissa Long either didn’t read the story or storyboards or did and just didn’t give a ratpoo.
The house is supposed to have been abandoned 25 years ago yet has police crime scene tape around the front door. The house itself is perfectly spotless,there is nary a mote of dust on anything! All the household items from 25 years ago are still intact,including cardboard boxes. All the kitchenware looks brand new,the water in the toilet is still in the tank…etc. What it shows is a lack of EFFORT by Long and her staff. It sends the messages of “I could care less” and guess what,as a viewer,neither do we and that is a real shame for a first time director to have see on the screen.
Reading also didn’t use the best lighting as too many scenes are murky and hard to pick up exactly what was going on. He did use his limited effects budget to good use and this provided a couple of quality scares but not anything close to save this film.
“Darkness Rising” is rated “R” and has a run time of 81 loooooong minutes. There are no extra features other then the trailer.
Like I have mentioned before,IFC Films have been all great,its IFC Midnight that can be somewhat hit or miss.
The cheetah and I both give “Darkness Rising” a thumbs/paws down….