‘Be careful what you wish for’
Darkness Reigns is a 2017 American supernatural horror feature film written, produced and directed by Andrew P. Jones (Wild Boar; Haunting of Cellblock 11). The movie stars Zachary Mooren, Linara Washington and Casper Van Dien.
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.
Darkness Reigns was released by Wild Eye Releasing on VOD on July 10, 2018.
“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.” Ian Sedensky, 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?” Emilia Rolewicz, 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.” A. Renee Hunt, 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.” Sarah Budd, 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.” John Migliore, 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.” Jim Morazzini, 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.” Jason Minton, Without Your Head
Cast and characters:
- Zachary Mooren … Daniel
- Linara Washington … Vanessa
- Casper Van Dien … Himself – The Pact; Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness; Python; Sleepy 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
Jefferson City, Missouri, USA
The film’s working title was Defanatus Soul
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