Dark Was the Night is the story of Sheriff Paul Shields, a troubled lawman trying to endure the loss of one of his sons while still being a good father and protector of his community. While trying to live his life and maintain what relationships he has left, strange and deadly occurrences begin affecting the local logging industry and farming communities. Rumors start flying about demonic creatures that may be inhabiting the woods surrounding the small town. It’s then up to Sheriff Shields and his deputy to work with the townsfolk and uncover the mystery behind it all.
How the hell can you not love a horror film starring Kevin Durand and Lukas Haas. This movie is a surprising and rewarding creature feature that focuses more on individual characters and motives, than forced atmosphere and weak jump scares. In a time when the majority of horror movies are found footage commercialized schlockfests, Dark Was the Night stands out as a film that goes back to genre basics in a very good way. With Jack Heller’s direction and Tyler Hisel’s script, this film works and does it’s job well.
Kevin Durand stars as the main lead and his performance is the films greatest strength. The role of Sheriff Paul Shields is troubled and shows a man who has basically hit rock bottom but can still function. Throughout the film he manages to deal with the tragic loss of a child and the deterioration of his marriage, and then out of nowhere the town he is meant to protect becomes a living nightmare. Creatures from within the woods start killing loggers and hunters and then invading the town at night to slaughter livestock and terrorize citizens. With the help of the people who still believe in him, Sheriff Shields does everything he can to defeat this deadly threat.
Dark Was the Night is like a combination of John Carpenter’s The Fog and the 1988 remake of The Blob, with a dose of American folklore thrown in for good measure. Bianca Kaijlich, Nick Damici and Sabina Gadecki are all great on screen and give solid performances. The cold open with Steve Agee is a treat and does a good job of setting up the film’s monster element. Aside from some occasionally heavy blue filtering and few moments of rough CGI, this movie is an enjoyable and entertaining watch. Kevin Durand gives his all in this one and absolutely earns every bit of credit for this being his first starring role. Check it out!
Out of a Possible 5 Stars