Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Darkness Within (2009)

Fear 3/5
Gore 0/5
Entertainment 4/5
Creepiness 5/5

A man and his girlfriend move into a new apartment in a small suburb somewhere in New England. From the get go, the boyfriend gets strange oompa loompa vibes from his next door neighbor as he first appears wearing a robe and slippers, watering his front yard while at the same time, sporting a devious looking grin. After their day of moving, later that evening, the boyfriend goes outside to relax and take a few swigs from his flask. He finds his neighbor still watering the yard, with the EXACT same attire, while still flashing that crazy looking grin.

The couple head off to bed not too much later. The boyfriend wakes up in the wee morning hours to use the bathroom and is startled when he sees his neighbor peering in through the window. He sprints out of the house and rounds the corner to catch him but he's nowhere to be found.

The next morning, before the young couple head out for the day, the boyfriend confronts the neighbor. Telling the boyfriend it wasn't him, he begins describing the cozy, quiet and peaceful setting that is the neighborhood and how he wants to make sure it 'stays' that way. Not getting the response he was expecting, the boyfriend storms off.

The boyfriend and girlfriend head out to the local park to get acquainted with their new surroundings. The boyfriend, being a free lance photographer, starts snapping away. While taking pictures, he notices the creepy neighbor trailing behind them. After returning home from the park, a series of events occur in which the boyfriend perceives the neighbor as stalking and harassing them. As the paranoia of the boyfriend heightens, the film does a complete 180 which you don't see coming. A sleight of the hand which totally throws you for a loop. Our devilishly looking neighbor appears again at the end of our film, intimating that he had a hand in exposing the boyfriend for who he truly is.

This one is a slow burner. Zero blood, no gore all psychological. A taut thriller with one hell of a twist. The only gripe that I have with the film is when the boyfriend takes refuge from the 'occurances' with his upstairs landlord and her man friend/roommate. They both provide comedic relief and it detracts a little bit from the mood and tension the film does so well to build. But its not so much so that it derails the entire effort.

Overall, a great film: well shot, executed and more importantly, original. Kudos for the neat genre nod at the end too. I love it when a film subtly slips in a reference or two. Makes my nerdy heart jump for joy.

Cortez the Killer

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Geof said...

As Yoda said in Empire "Gore not make one great." Or maybe that was War not Gore?

This sounds pretty interesting as the creepiness factor definitely is drawing me in. Gore or not. I will have to track this down somehow.

Cortez The Killer said...

Hahahaha, nice Geof.

I should have mentioned that the filmmaker is working hard to get distribution for the film. Hopefully, I'm doing my small part to get the word out.

Mike Snoonian said...

I just got this in over the weekend. It was filmed in a town I lived in for about ayear. It's always awesome to read that one can make an effectively creepy movie for the price of a small surround system.

Cortez The Killer said...

Mike, I can't wait to hear what you think about it!