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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Dark and The Wicked (2020)

Have a seat. No, really. Take this seat (watch the thing, you'll get it). Now either you're tuned in to these places that hold an odd, ethereal, ungraspable but sometimes fleeting air of menace and malevolence. Or you're not.

I understand the approach here for personal reasons. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you can get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet without even waking up properly.

But sometimes, only rarely, the stillness of the familiar darkness around you is, well, off somehow. If you've ever brushed off the unusual as coincidence or quirky happenstance or even infinitely inevitable, then you're probably as rational as everyone else. But is rationality warranted? Should you stop for a minute, instead of a second?

There is little here in the hand-holding department as you are somewhat ungraciously thrown into the quiet ruminations of the family of a dying man, gathered on his farm with a pace best described as patiently unravelling. An air of pre-grief holds sway, until the time for action hatefully presents itself. Misperception is telling here more than the amount of blood spilt, by some margin, but the tone is consistently uncomfortable and scattered with carefully delivered jump scares.

This is admirably and unapologetically crafted and considerately delivered. It is devoid of flair and sometimes predictable, but while the pacing will get as many detractors as garnering plaudits, the direction is sound if not revolutionary, which is also true of the performances, which admittedly demand more than the ability to scream and run.

Can't honestly say I enjoyed it. That would be a little weird. But I did appreciate it. Better than most this October so far.

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