THE DARK WITHIN (2019) Reviews and overview

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‘Everyone has demons dying to get out’

The Dark Within is a 2019 British science fiction horror film directed by David Ryan Keith (Redwood Massacre: Annihilation; Ghosts of Darkness; The Redwood Massacre; Attack of the Herbals) from a screenplay co-written with Paul Flannery (Ghosts of Darkness). The latter stars, alongside Kendra Carelli, Niko Foster and Stephanie Lynn Styles.

A disturbed man with unknown psychic abilities tries to unravel the mystery of his parent’s disappearance while battling his own demons…

” …occasionally in the quieter and more reflective moments in one or two of the scenes go on a little longer than possibly they should have. However, these are minor quibbles because The Dark Within is a hugely enjoyable slice of psychological horror containing not only a strong central performance, a fine supporting cast,  but also a host of weird and wonderful ideas as well as excellent visual effects.” 5D.

” …has some really disturbing effects, like the psychic energy being released from the people during the experiments and the skinless creatures that stalk the cabin. This film goes above and beyond the look, feel, sounds and scares that you usually get from a modern horror film.” B&S About Movies

“As a film, it just can’t seem to decide what it wants to be and lacks a sense of self. Is it a psychological horror? Is it a gorefest? Is it a supernatural thriller? I’ve said it before; I’m all for genre-bending, but at some point, a direction has to be picked. At times it seems as though the filmmakers don’t have a clear idea what this movie is about.” Film Threat

“The core puzzle stays interesting throughout. However, during the second half the hallucinatory parts, along with some of the scares, lose a lot of their dramatic impact. Each is staged well enough since David Ryan Keith is a skilled director. But the film is not the sum of its parts, and as it slumps into a predictable routine it becomes less engaging.” Horror Cult Films

“Is the film leading us to walk up the metaphorical garden path? By fooling us to believe what we are seeing on the screen is happening, the reality of the film is a complete misdirection. Nothing is what it seems. Everything about this film screams misdirection.” HVY

“This is an entertaining shock filled horror that is very enjoyable, we get a story that will keep you guessing and a creature that could strike the fear into the audience.” Movie Reviews 101

“Like Keith’s Ghosts of Darkness, The Dark Within has some effective scary moments, with some grotesque (and very bloody) imagery from the get-go – seemingly rendered in both CGI and practical effects; with a fantastic looking “monster” that reminded me of an unmasked Sam from Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r’ Treat, only if he was a lot bigger and even more menacing.” Nerdly

“We have a creature that is just pure terror, whose presence becomes larger as the story unfolds. By the end of this film, you will see many elements of the horror genre used; it does help us get into the unstable mindset of Marcus because we never know what to trust in the reality of the world he is in now.” Ready Steady Cut!

“I was struggling to care about anything happening to Marcus or, indeed, the man himself before the halfway mark. By the fifth time reality was inexplicably turned on its head, I found myself resisting the urge to skip ahead. When the movie faded to black, I couldn’t stop skipping back to confirm that the ending was just as empty as everything else.” Red Carpet Crash

“For far too much of the film, the scenes of tension and fear are dismissed as Marcus wakes up from the terror and accepts the reality around him.  Fool us once, you know how the saying goes, but this film keeps doing it and it puts a lid on just how creeped out we are going to be.  Obviously, nothing in this movie is happening and that lessens its effectiveness as a horror film.” Reel Reviews

The Dark Within is not for those who like to be spoonfed their horror, it’s really a movie that twists and turns, shifts its own reality (and laws of nature) ever so often, refuses to follow an internal logic, and never sees the necessity to give explanations for its on-screen goings-on – and all of this works totally for the movie rather than against it…” Search My Trash

“Sadly, The Dark Within isn’t up to the director’s other films. The constantly sliding notion of reality just gets repetitive and annoying. The half-seen figures and events and timelines contradicting themselves are more confusing than unnerving. I quickly stopped caring if he was tripping or had enhanced his psychic abilities.” Voices from the Balcony

The Dark Within was released by Uncork’d Entertainment on DVD and VOD in the USA on July 9, 2019.

Cast and characters:
Paul Flannery … Marcus Blaine – Ghosts of Darkness
Stephanie Lynn Styles … Doctor Norton
Kendra Carelli … Sarah Price
Mark Wood … Stewart
Niko Foster … Andrew Blaine
Lisa Cameron … Debra
Liam Matheson … Doctor Boris
HemDee Kiwanuka … Abaddon
Miller Caleb … Young Marcus
Gavin Park … Creature
Olivia Murray … Mary Blaine
Harry Willis Fleming … Doctor DeBunker

Filming locations:

Production companies:
2nd Nature Films
Chasing Butterflies Pictures
Clear Focus Movies
Popcorn and Soda Productions

Technical details:
1 hour 28 minutes


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