Friday, August 27, 2010

Enter the Dark (2010)

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

Enter the Dark is a short film that borrows some from the found footage sub-genre but the device itself isn't a sole focus like it is with most films of that ilk. With a couple of interesting concepts and a neat little twist, it's an all around solid affair. But I couldn't help but want more after viewing it which is probably more indicative of my feelings on short films in general. More on that in a hot minute.

The film starts of with a husband and homeowner, sitting at his kitchen table, fidgeting with his video camera and talking to his reluctant buddy who's come over for a bit of moral support. You see, strange goings ons have been happening around the house for the past few months and things have escalated to a point where wife and kids have gotten the heck out of dodge. The husband laments to his friend and a nice reference to the sign o' the times is given as he declares the sale of the home due to current conditions not being an option. So he opts for trying to catch the events on camera and somehow, during the process, appease whatever spirit is stalking the family.

So the husband begs his skeptical friend to stay and play ghost hunters. Alternating between camera shots and bickering as the friend tries to convince him that it's all one big joke is interesting in and of itself. Its a natural conversation, one that feels like it would happen between two people who would find themselves in the same situation. Even in the face of a talking children's book (you know, the kind where you press a button and the book tells a part of the story or something), the friend says it's all a coincidence. But paranormal activity (oh, I just had to go there) levels soon increase quickly and both of our ghost hunters chase a dark figure into the attic. As the husband/homeowner leads his friend into the attic and promptly heads back out, we are exposed to the terror which has been haunting the family. The friend falls victim and as the film ends, we wonder if in fact the rest of the family really got out.

The main issue I had with the film, and is oftentimes the case with most shorts I watch, is length. Now that might seem like a 'duh' comment but for films that rely on tension building and suspense, especially films in the found footage sub genre, it can be like shooting yourself in the foot before even getting out of the starting gate. As a result, the film feels a little rushed in getting to its point. And I was left with really wanting to know more of the backstory. Like how dire the situation of the rest of the family was which prompted them to leave and send daddy on a ghost hunting expedition in his own house. But understanding how and why shorts (sometimes) get made, I think there is enough here to make it a success and hopefully a feature length film is developed.

Overall, the film is wonderfully shot and acted and the twist ending was masterfully pulled off by filmmaker Todd Miro. It's definitely worth your time if you get a chance to see it.

Speaking of which, the film will be screening at the Chicago Horror Film Festival on Sunday, Sept. 26th.

For more information about Enter the Dark, check out the film's website:

Cortez the Killer

Enter The Dark Trailer from Todd Miro on Vimeo.


Strange Kid said...

Looks like a pretty solid film based on the trailer and your review gives it merit aside from it being too short. The whole 'Paranormal Activity/Ghost Hunters' thing has never really thrilled me though, at least not after 'Blair Witch' fooled me way back when.

I like 'Poltergeist' just fine, but only because it shows a little more than your average ghost-flick.

Geof said...

This looks like a great short and definitely something I ma interested in seeing. I used to be against the found footage films but the recent releases in that subgenre have been homeruns. Now I find myself flocking to them like white on rice. This looks no different.

Cortez The Killer said...

@Strange Kid, I get how the whole found footage thing can and has worn out its welcome. There is a certain formula that is easy to replicate. But films like this and In Memorium have a lot to offer, are original and have a pretty unique twist. That's what keeps me coming back to these types of films and quite frankly, as of late, I can't get enough of them.

@Geof, no doubt sir. At some point, I might get burnt out on them. But as mentioned, as long as they are like this, I'll keep coming back for more.

the jaded viewer said...

CTK - I got a chance to see this too and my review is going live Monday. I felt the someway you did and had few more gripes about this post Paranormal Activity short.

But I thought it was shot well and had one stellar scene.

Cortez The Killer said...

Can't wait to see what you think Jaded.

Matt-suzaka said...

I always pegged you as a dude that enjoyed girth as opposed to length! Sorry, couldn't resist.

In all seriousness, I really dig the trailer and it sounds more than good enough for me to enjoy. I love that specific sub-genre, so it's almost a no-brainer for me, and maybe it is something that can be developed into a longer film at some point.

Good stuff as always!

Cortez The Killer said...

Matt, you know its not the size that matters, its how you use it.

I think you'd really dig it.