‘The last noise you’ll hear is your own scream’
A Dark Path is a 2020 British horror feature film about two sisters whose hire car breaks down deep within a forbidding forest.
Written and directed by the Nicholas Winter (Bone Breaker; Caged; Transhuman; Lost a Girl), the Picture Perfect production stars Makenna Guyler (Crawl to Me Darling; Vampire Virus; The Barge People; Blood Bags; Coulrophobia; et al), Mari Beaseley, Thomasin Lockwood, Jimmy Essex and Annabelle Mackinnon-Austin.
Sisters Abi (Makenna Guyler) and Lily (Mari Beaseley) have been away on a fun weekend at a Hen party in eastern Europe. Hungover and tired they set off on the long drive back. Miles of empty roads through forests flow past. Phone signal goes in and out of service and their somewhat unreliable GPS, on the hire car, leads them astray.
Trying to navigate the old fashioned way with the road signs, they find themselves lost along a narrow road through a deep forest. Suddenly the front tyre blows out and the car comes to a standstill. Fumbling around in the boot they discover the spare tyre is also flat. They have no phone signal and are completely cut off.
However, this is no ordinary forest and there is a reason no cars come up here, for the locals know of what lives deep in the woods and if they’re woken there is nowhere you can run…
A Dark Path treads the same very well-worn ‘path’ of previous monsters in the woods pics. After a slow start in which we have to endure seemingly endless banal banter between the two sisters that are the main protagonists, the film goes exactly where we expect it to and with no panache on display. Along the way, there are nods to the found-footage sub-genre in that a video camera is used for many shots but this minor feature adds nothing to the overall sense of filmmakers going through the motions.
As the monsters are depicted on the movie’s promo material it comes as no surprise what they look like either. The creatures look reasonably impressive for a low-budget production so it’s odd that they are kept off-screen for so long. The short running time is perhaps the only blessing as far as A Dark Path to concerned. Avoid it.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“The creature (Ade Dimberline), while visually pleasing, is hardly featured in the film and doesn’t play a menacing enough role. It observes, wanders, and tears at a person or two… but it does not create that malicious power we seek from creatures (especially those of the non-human variety). Maybe Winter believed featuring this creature in the last minutes of the film would develop tension and anticipation, but I feel it had the opposite effect.” Horror Buzz
“A Dark Path is basically an hour of people puking at a party, bickering and wandering around dark woods. Then ten minutes with a barely seen creature. When we finally get a look at it it’s fairly decent looking, at least by low budget standards. So why Winter didn’t get it involved sooner is beyond me. He couldn’t have really thought all that wandering around was scarier, could he?” Voices from the Balcony
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A Dark Path will be released on DVD in the UK by Reel2Reel on 31st August 2020. Buy DVD on Amazon.co.uk
Meanwhile, 101 Films distributes the film internationally.
Cast and characters:
Makenna Guyler … Abi
Mari Beaseley … Lilly
Thomasin Lockwood … Hanna
Jimmy Essex … Peter
Annabelle Mackinnon-Austin … Jessica
Grace Long … Claire
Ade Dimberline … The Creature
Elle Anderson … Club dancer
Emma Louise Smith … Club dancer
Eric Iversen … Club dancer
Audio: Stereo and Surround AC3