DARKNESS REIGNS (2017) Reviews of haunted hotel movie

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‘Be careful what you wish for’
Darkness Reigns is a 2017 American supernatural horror film written, produced and directed by Andrew P. Jones (Haunting of Cellblock 11; co-writer of Wild Boar).

The movie stars Zachary Mooren, Linara Washington (Haunting of Cellblock 11) and Casper Van Dien (The PactDracula 3000: Infinite Darkness; PythonSleepy Hollow; Starship Troopers).

Plot:
A group of filmmakers shooting a behind-the-scenes documentary in a reportedly haunted hotel are faced with an unfathomable demonic force that possesses and attacks both the crew and the film’s star, Casper Van Dien.

Will the film’s director be able to escape with the paranormal proof he has captured, or will he succumb to the hellish plans of the demon who has surfaced and pay the ultimate price?…

Darkness Reigns was released by Wild Eye Releasing on VOD on July 10, 2018.

Reviews:
“A mild whiff of weirdness might make the movie morbidly intriguing to some as a micro-indie oddity. I mean, I’ll award bonus points for the absurdity of strangling someone to death with a film crew lanyard. I simply don’t know whether to laugh or wince at the disemboweled corpse whose blood looks like Chef Boyardee’s orange marinara. Really though, instead of delirious or demented, Darkness Reigns is mostly just dull.” Culture Crypt

“While the film is not completely soulless, it does have hammy scares and scenes, including a demon that wouldn’t look out of place in a Sixties Doctor Who episode. These cheesier elements clash with writer/director Andrew P Jones’ attempts at solemn soliloquising on hellish business deals. The film ultimately leaves you unsure about how seriously you should take it and how much you should be laughing with it or, at it?” Eye for Film

“Decent acting and a really fun turn by Casper Van Dien playing himself ticks another box. Sadly the movie runs out of steam by the final third. The demon reveal isn’t great and a twist falls pretty flat, resulting in a dragged-out finale. It’s a pity as for most of its run-time, Darkness Reigns is very entertaining and has some chilling moments. In modern ghostly/paranormal/haunting movies that itself is impressive.” Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life

“The movie’s slow and the acting, excluding Van Dien’s was okay. Now the special effects were pretty cool. The mirrors, the intestines (no spoilers, sorry), and especially the first attack are killer. I also found great appreciation in there being no mood music. Not one time did an ominous tune play, warning you of impending doom.” The Horror Review

“The costumes and make up for the demons are less on the horror side more on the fantasy side of things, one of the main demons looks a bit like a goblin from The Hobbit movies but they have put a lot of effort into making them look good. Other special effects are fine and the soundtrack is the usual kind of thing but effective.” Horrorscreams Videovault

“The special effects are simply fantastic. Some of them are mind-blowing in their complexity, like a perfectly executed magic trick. Several shots involving mirrors are particularly astonishing. This movie has a lot going for it, but the effects really stand out as a high point for me. Darkness Reigns succeeds at creating stunning visual illusions while setting a spooky atmosphere.” Indie Horror Online

“as someone who is sick of found footage movies, Darkness Reigns is one I recommend. As long as you like horror or supernatural thrillers, this is one to see. The writing is good not great, but the fun moments and overall quality more than make up for it. And do I need to remind you that Casper Van Dien plays himself and takes it to surprising lengths!” OC Movie Reviews

“While there’s not a lot of effects, what there is work, for the most part, give or take some CGI bug swarms. The scene involving trying to get someone’s innards back into their body is particularly effective. The roles here don’t call for great acting but the cast rises to the occasion. Van Dien has fun with his small part.” Voices from the Balcony

“I personally would have liked to have seen more of the fake film Defantatus Soul. An opportunity to have some fun scenes might’ve been missed. Budgeted effects also hurt a little but are far superior than most special effects you’ll find in similar budgeted films. There’s definitely some fun performances including Casper Van Dien playing an exaggerated, vanity-filled version of himself.” Without Your Head

Cast and characters:
Zachary Mooren … Daniel
Linara Washington … Vanessa
Casper Van Dien … Himself – The PactDracula 3000: Infinite Darkness; PythonSleepy Hollow; Starship Troopers
Peter Mayer … Sidney
Ford Fanter … Aaron
Jennifer Wenger … Rebecca Long
James Packard … Jacob Bale
Aerial Nicole … Amelia Faulkner
Matt Connor … Gabe Swanson
Vanessa Leinani … Publicist
Megan Goldthrite … Amanda/Film Crew Member
Timeka Little … Demon Girl

Filming locations:
Jefferson City, Missouri

Film Facts:
The film’s working title was Defanatus Soul

Trailer:

Clip:

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