A Dark Song is a 2016 Irish-British horror feature film written and directed by Liam Gavin. The movie stars Mark Huberman (Dark Touch; Boy Eats Girl), Susan Loughnane (Nocturne Passage), Steve Oram (Altar; The Canal; Sightseers) and Catherine Walker (Dark Touch).
Sophia is grief-stricken, overwhelmed with sadness since the untimely death of her young daughter. In a desperate attempt to achieve some form of closure, she reaches out to Solomon, an occultist with experience in an ancient invocation ritual that Sophia believes will allow her to make contact with her deceased child.
Locked away in a remote country house, the disparate pair undergo the long and arduous incantation process, risking both their mental and physical safety as they attempt to access a world beyond our understanding…
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“Liam Gavin then makes his film appropriately dark; all indoor scenes look as if they were shot by candlelight. And not romantic dinner candlelight, but greasy fat yellow candles used against the curse of the night. Even the few outdoor scenes are bleak and grey. This is little room for humour, and Gavin keeps a tight pace and the dialogue reduced to its most economical and powerful.” Shelagh Rowan-Legg, Screen Anarchy
“A few stark, barren, beautiful landscape shots stress the claustrophobic confinement to what is actually a rambling old dark house, and Gavin has plainly paid a lot of attention to details of art direction inside the place – the black magic in the film might be high-class mumbo-jumbo, but it feels more real than the backwards Latin and robed chanting of most horror films on the subject.” The Kim Newman Web Site
” …most films dealing with the occult tend to focus on the attainment of power, but A Dark Song is all about Sophia’s quest for inner peace (and the ability to forgive) through gnosis. What we get is a harrowing and intense experience in which you can practically feel the power of the ritual emanating through the images and Ray Harman’s sparse score. It’s a bold and inventive piece of indie cinema…” Peter Fuller, Kultguy’s Keep
“The first half is a bit of a slowburn but the terrifying finale makes up for any shortcomings. Liam Gavin did a really good job with his directorial debut and Steve Oram and Catherine Walker delivered some intense performances with their characters. There’s also some beautiful cinematography that gives the movie its atmospheric look.” Alien Bee
“Anchored by two excellent performances from its two leads, Gavin’s film lulls you into the same mental space as its characters, and makes it clear that an actual, honest-to-gosh supernatural visitation is by no means a foregone conclusion … A Dark Song is memorable for its distinct and refreshingly grown-up approach to the mechanics of the unseen, and I found it a smart and savvy example of horror’s new breed.” Rochefort, Quiet Earth
“Although A Dark Song is primarily set in one location, the film feels a lot larger and expansive than the one location would suggest. That’s because Gavin, as writer and director, fills A Dark Song full of ideas and possibilities, allowing the audience to play with the film in their heads. Gavin’s script dives into deep ideas and themes, but also into the mechanics of strange phenomena and how to gain access to it.” Alan Cerny, ComingSoon.net
“Much of the movie is simply focused on two people and their journey to mastering a lengthy ritual and less on the results of the ritual itself. While very moody and atmospheric, the familiar genre elements don’t really appear until towards the end and unless you’ve been captivated by these characters the entire time, chances are you’ll be checked out by then.” Upcoming Horror Movies
“Most of the movie feels very grounded and real, adding a layer to it that allows its horror to unfold naturally and slowly—but sometimes too slowly. At times it drags its feet with some scenes lingering about with almost no payoff. It’s the type of film that requires a lot of patience, putting the slow in slow-burn.” Ryan C., The Missing Reel