Dark Was the Night
Written by: Tyler Hisel
Directed by: Jack Heller
When a small town is terrorized by something in the neighboring woods, Sheriff Paul Shields (Durand) is tasked with discovering who or what is responsible and protecting the townsfolk from suffering the same fate as the loggers, hunters, horses, and deer that have already fallen prey. As if that is not trouble enough for Sheriff Shields, he is also dealing with marital issues, unruly locals, and a new “City boy” deputy (Haas) who suffers from a drinking problem.
Some of the people in town say that the killing is being done by an ancient creature that native Americans told tales of killing white settlers who disrespected the land (hence the deforesting going on), and some say it is the work of the devil himself. Whatever the case, all of the animals have fled the woods, the body count is rising, and the locals are starting to freak. The Sheriff has his hands full.
For the most part, I enjoyed “Dark Was the Night”. I am always a sucker for the “Don’t show the creature until the end, and instead build up tension” horror film. “Dark Was the Night” is certainly that (maybe even to a fault), and had dome really good scenes of the good guys in the dark, snowy woods with something lurking in the shadows. Durand was good as the lead, and most of the acting outside of his was good even if Lukas Haas’ character was a little contrived.
My issue was with the final 15 minutes of the film. The whole town barricades themselves in an old church, and prepares for the siege that is coming. I was stoked to finally see the monster and the carnage that would ensue. Then… Ugh. Let’s just say the “Carnage” was a quick game of hide and seek between the creature and Shields and deputy big city. The “Monster” consisted of weird, messy CGI. The “Twist” was obvious about a third of the way into the film. It was just deflating. Director Jack Heller created 3/4 of a solid horror/creature flick and then just couldn’t carry the quality through the end. “Dark Was the Night” is maybe worth watching once (it is streaming on Netflix), but turn it off once they get to the church and just imagine the rest. Or don’t say I didn’t warn you.