DARKNESS RISING (2017) Reviews and overview



Darkness Rising is a 2017 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Austin Reading (Pledges; Death Valley TV series) from a screenplay by Vikram Weet (The Worthy; Devil’s Pass). It stars Katrina Law, Bryce Johnson and Tara Holt.



When Madison Shaw finds out that her childhood home is about to be torn down, she knows that she has to see it one last time. But this isn’t a nostalgic trip through childhood memories – when she was a little girl, her mother killed her baby sister, and Madison narrowly escaped with her life.

Now she has one last chance to confront the demons that have haunted her ever since. Enlisting the help of her fiance, Jake, and cousin, Izzy, they revisit the scene of the horrific nightmares Madison has been concealing from them.


While the visit begins innocently enough, unsettling events build until the three find themselves trapped inside the house by forces beyond their comprehension, forces that may have driven her mother to commit such a terrible murder, and could drive Madison to equally violent acts…


” …lean, fast-paced and chock full of time-tested haunted house scares. Austin Reading’s direction is atmospheric. Additionally, the portrayals and special effects are deft. The result is familiar, especially when considering the personas on-screen and general plot, B-movie fun.” A Word of Dreams

“Vikram Weet’s script underwrites the story to be cryptic to the point of being incoherent.  In contrast, dialogue is overwritten, creating extraneous lines that are obtuse about their purpose or mere echoes of something already said. Darkness Rising took all the wrong notes from the David Mamet School of Repetition.” Culture Crypt

“The story is just not good enough. And the execution is pretty awful. Basically, Darkness Rising is the kind of horror movie that gives horror movies a bad name. If this is what people think a horror movie is, then I wouldn’t like horror movies either.” Heaven of Horror

“Thematically, Vikram Weet’s screenplay bears some comparison to Darren Lynn Bousman’s Abattoir, but it is more narrowly focused (and less ambitious). Regardless, Reading keeps the tension ratcheted up and strikes some archetypal chords. It will not be remembered as a genre milestone, but for horror fans it serves up some nourishing red meat.” J.B. Spins

Darkness Rising tries way too hard to be something it isn’t by packing too much into a story that would be better kept simple. While it does set itself apart from the norm of possession movies, it’s probably not in the way it aimed to do so. However, the actors are able to save the movie by humanizing one-dimensional characters and make it worth a watch.” Horror Talk

” …the house is creepy and Reading at least knows how to build some suspense, even if the characters make some truly bad decisions, one after another. Holt, Johnson, and Law are mostly convincing and the script has some sharp moments but Reading succeeds more in establishing the presence of the house even if none of it is new. If one is going to cling to the archetypes, at least Reading does so with some verve.” That Moment In


Main cast:

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California


Raven Banner and IFC Midnight released the film in the US to theaters and VOD on June 30, 2017. A Blu-ray + DVD was released on November 7, 2017.

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