DARK FORCES (2020) Reviews and overview

   

Dark Forces is a 2020 Mexican feature film about a criminal seeking his sister at a strange hotel where he encounters sinister guests. He also develops a lusty relationship with a mysterious waitress who joins him on crime sprees. Original Spanish-language title: Fuego negro “Black Fire”

Written and directed by Bernardo Arellano, the Biznaga Films-Corazón Films production stars Tenoch Huerta, Eréndira Ibarra, Dale Carley and Ariane Pellicer.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …there’s not really any explanation about most of what’s going on in the film, from the worms that the dead impart into the living, to the reasons why Rubi wants to join Franco in a life of crime. Also, the ending doesn’t make much sense. It only runs 81 minutes, and this is a rare instance where a film should have been at least ten minutes longer.” Decider

” …a bit like Sin City but with color added (Suspiria style) and a much slower pace. In some ways, it was reminiscent of Twin Peaks. However, a series like Twin Peaks can work because we [the audience] have many episodes to understand the characters of that series. With this movie, we have less than an hour and a half to understand all the symbolism and character motivation.” Heaven of Horror

“So much head-scratching is necessary here that the logical assumption is that plot and worldbuilding were shelved for awkward sexy time and choppily-arranged scares. Both of those things have a faint try-hard whiff, as though Dark Forces is endeavoring to be as unpleasant as possible with annoyingly few concerns for logical consistency or the basics of suspense-building.” Ready Steady Cut!

“Much like many other art-house projects, there’s lots of symbology, ideas and a deliberate use of colour. Unlike something like Animas […] Dark Forces fails to match up the colours to the mood set in each given scene. There’s a lot of neon-lit yellows, blues and reds but little substance or rationale behind these being used.” The Review Geek

Cast and characters:

Tenoch Huerta … Franco
Eréndira Ibarra … Rubí
Dale Carley … Jack
Ariane Pellicer … Helga
Johana Fragoso Blendl … Julia
Daina Soledad Liparoti … Diva
Mauricio Aspe … Max
Eglé Ivanauskaité … Molly
Pedro Prieto … Man in black
Ángel Garnica … Botones
Marina Vera … Receptionist
Nick Zedd … Demon

Technical details:

81 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2:1

Fun Facts:

Nick Zedd, who plays the demon, is a director of transgressive films such as Werewolf Bitches from Outer Space; War Is Menstrual Envy; Geek Maggot Bingo and They Eat Scum.

Notes:

This film should not be confused with the Australian film Harlequin (1980) which was also released as Dark Forces.