Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Darkness Has Swallowed My Soul

If I could turn back time, if I could find a way, I'd never watch The Darkness - heck, I'd pretend The Darkness didn't exist. I think it would be better for everybody - me, actors Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell and various underlings, the writers, the prop people, the production assistant who had to drive Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell and various underlings to the set every day...

But most most especially, next to me, I think it would be best for director Greg McLean if The Darkness didn't exist, because I felt better about Greg before watching it then I did when it ended, and I'd like us to return to that happy place we were in before. A simpler time, when Wolf Creek was plenty. In all its variants - the sequel, the TV show - each one might be slightly not-as-awesome as the preceding but they're all good in their ways (and the original is a straight-up masterpiece).

Wolf Creek is the sort of thing that carries you a career's length. It's the giant slab of wood that carries Kate Winslet to freedom, and The Darkness is Leonardo Dicaprio - let go, Rose, let goooooooooo.

The Darkness is just startingly, alarmingly inept - at least coming from a director that's proven himself so capable in the past - it's so inept that it made me worry for Greg's health after watching it. It made me think about the stories that have dogged Tobe Hooper on Poltergeist about his drug use and how Steven Spielberg maybe might have shot that movie because Tobe was in too much of a drug funk to aim the camera - it made me hope that Greg McLean had become a drug addict and some half-assed A.D. had actually made this movie instead of him. Enjoy the drugs, Greg! We all need a bender now and then. But come back to us!

Anyway Poltergeist is a reference point because The Darkness rips that movie off at every turn - creepy suburban kids and a haunted house and eventually a spiritualist come to rid the homestead of its spectral presence. I really thought maybe a spin would be spun, a reason or purpose would reveal itself at some point, so I kept watching against my better instincts - the instincts that were telling me, "Turn off the TV! Run from this room! Forget this movie exists! Stick a wire brush in your ear-hole and scrub it from your brain if need be! This will only hurt you!" 

Alas, I didn't listen. I kept plugging onward, a dutiful foot-soldier for my Wolf Creek friend. I did neither of us any favors. Today, you Greg McLean and me, movie blogger, and everyone reading this alongside us, today we will make a pact - The Darkness didn't happen. I know, I know - I have seen A Nightmare on Elm Street, I know what happens when a community tries to bury the horrible past instead of allowing themselves to learn and grow from it. But I'm willing to take that chance. I am willing to offer up to Hell the souls of the next generation if I can just go another day without The Darkness set upon me. I am sorry to those who might suffer in the future. I am not strong. I am not strong.


eL said...

This movie suuuuuucked. Glad to see David Mazouz has rebounded with the far more enjoyable Gotham.

Unknown said...

I just chanced upon it on Netflix, and while the Native American haunted artifacts was about the expected level of cringe and insensitivity, and it looked like they wanted to handle the bulimia with some compassion, I was truly shocked by the whole autistic children/supernatural connection. Leaping lizards but that's Jenny McCarthy levels of ableism.