A horror inspired by true events. Sounds extra creepy doesn’t it? For the most part The Darkness, directed by Greg McLean (television’s Wolf Creek, The Belko Experiment), is creepy. But then it falls into the trap that many horror films fall into. It goes too far towards the end and ends up leaving you with a cheesy taste in your mouth.
Family vacations are supposed to be fun and a time to really spend time together. For Peter Taylor (Kevin Bacon – Mystic River, Footloose) it seems like he and his family’s trip to the Grand Canyon was just that. They come back refreshed and relaxed. That is until strange things start happening in the house.
Peter’s wife Bronny (Radha Mitchell – Finding Neverland, Olympus Has Fallen) insists that the things that are happening are not normal. She’s not exactly sure what is happening, but it is not simply bad behaviour on the part of their autistic son, Michael (David Mazouz – from television’s Gotham).
She is right. On the trip Michael picks up and keeps some stones not knowing that they have mystical powers. The dark forces contained within the stones is awakened and in the Taylors’ house. Powerful ancient power. Now the family is going to have to fight for their very lives.
The Darkness has your classic scare jump moments. Using Native American mythology is interesting. That is where the good stuff ends. The bad stuff just piles up. Overwhelming the few good things it has going for it. Poorly done special effects make the spirits rather laughable rather than scary. Kevin Bacon is in a role that does not suit him and he looks awkward throughout. Then their are silly things put in like the daughter having bulimia or the wife having a drinking problem. They add nothing to the story and really are gratuitous. Worst thing is how formulaic it is. You can almost see them checking off the boxes. Nobody likes to be manipulated like that. Even on the off chance that you might get a little thrill from the occasional fright.