DARLIN’ (2019) Reviews and overview


‘Don’t mess with mother’s nature.’

Darlin’ is a 2019 American horror feature film directed by actor Pollyanna McIntosh (Let Us Prey; The Walking Dead TV series; The Blood Lands; Exam) who also stars. The movie also headlines Lauryn Canny, Nora-Jane Noone and Bryan Batt.

This is a sequel to both The Woman (2011) and Offspring (2009).


Found at a Catholic hospital filthy and ferocious, feral teenager Darlin’ (Lauryn Canny) is whisked off to a care home run by The Bishop and his obedient nuns where she is to be tamed into a “good girl.”

However, Darlin’ holds a secret darker than the “sins” she is threatened with, and she is not travelling alone. The Woman (Pollyanna McIntosh), equally fierce and feral, who raised her is ever-present and is determined to come for her no matter who tries to step in her way…


Darlin’, though well-directed by franchise star Pollyanna McIntosh, suffers from an underdeveloped script with odd tonal inconsistencies and some heavy-handed messaging that makes this sequel somewhat of a disappointment. The passion is there, but something got lost in the execution.” Bloody Disgusting

“Its roller coaster car rides tracks of drama, comedy, and commentary at seemingly random intervals. Hitting these hills of stark horror and then sudden humor induces whiplash that scrambles perception. As a result, it’s difficult to discern how much of “Darlin’s” seriousness and pseudo-slapstick is by design and how much of it might be due to a slipped grip on inconsistent tones.” Culture Crypt

” …it was great to see McIntosh be the one to continue this story […] Some of the dialogue does feel a bit clunky at times, and the pacing is a bit off in some of the scenes […] as well but as a whole, there’s a lot to enjoy with Darlin’, especially when McIntosh leans into some of the darkly comedic elements in the story…” Daily Dead

Darlin’ is ambitious (perhaps overly so) and fires off in all directions. It’s held together by a terrific performance from Lauryn Canny as our heroine […] The thing is,  I didn’t like the film that much, although I admired McIntosh’s directorial vision.” Dark Eyes of London

“The coming-of-age part of the movie, markedly different in tone, doesn’t really take hold until the second half as we see Darlin’s physical and psychological transition to a “normal” girl. The effect is jarring as it feels like two different movies plopped together rather than one movie led by its titular character. ” The Hollywood Reporter

“The harder-edged shock tactics of The Woman are muted but, as either horror or satire, this never hits the bullseye – cluttered by too many characters and never settling on a singular focus or mood. It comes to life briefly during the bloody, Communion-set finale but the best things about this picture are the performances of the two women.” HorrorScreams VideoVault

” …the plot is secondary to the angry passion of the piece, a movie that never stops moving and tackles the patriarchy with bloody teeth. It’s an imperfect movie, but I admire McIntosh’s go-for-broke style and the ambition of this project, one that reminded me of George A. Romero…” RogerEbert.com


Darlin’ premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, on March 9, 2018.

Dark Sky Films released Darlin’ theatrically and on VOD platforms on July 12, 2019, and on Blu-ray and DVD on September 3, 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Pollyanna McIntosh … The Woman
  • Lauryn Canny … Darlin’
  • Nora-Jane Noone … TBC – Estranged; The Descent and sequel
  • Bryan Batt … TBC – Tales from the Hood 2; Abbatoir
  • Maddie Nichols … Billy
  • Eugenie Bondurant … Mona
  • Cooper Andrews … TBC
  • Peyton Wich … Duke
  • Sabrina Gennarino … TBC
  • Charlie Talbert … John
  • Carol Sutton … Effie
  • Thomas Francis Murphy
  • Mackenzie Graham … Bug
  • Jo-Ann Robinson … Mother of Pregnant Girl
  • Geraldine Singer … TBC
  • Jeff Pope … TBC
  • Carl Palmer … Charles
  • Kristina Arntz … TBC
  • Zaila L.S. Matthews … Communion girl
  • Autumn Walker … Diana
  • Ryleigh Rogers … Church Girl
  • Danny Lewis … Security guard
  • Catherine Sewell … Mrs. Freeman
  • Pea Albert … Homeless Lady

Running time:

101 minutes

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