THE DARKNESS (2021) Reviews of British demonic horror [updated]

 

‘Two women. Two centuries. One dark fate.’

The Darkness is a 2021 British film about a young couple staying in a cursed house in Ireland where they encounter witchcraft and demons. Formerly titled Dorcha

Written and directed by Tharun Mohan, making his feature debut. Produced by Tharun Mohan and Honey Subin, the movie stars Amelia Eve (The Haunting of Bly Manor), Adam Bond, Jo Hart, Katherine Hartshorne and Cyril Blake.

Plot:

Lisa and David, a writer and an entrepreneur couple from London travel to Ballyvadlea, Ireland for their working holiday. The short trip was planned so that Lisa could start on her second book and David could work on his startup business plan. However, unbeknownst to either of them, the house where they are staying was built on ground that was cursed.

Lisa’s curiosity leads her to the discovery of the personal memoirs of Niav, the mysterious woman who once lived at the property a century ago, hence opening the long-closed doors and in doing so awakens the demons within.

David’s only hope comes in the form of George, the wandering priest who has a story to tell…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The last third of The Darkness becomes a tad flabby as characters do their best to bring the viewer up to speed on what’s happening and why. It fast becomes repetitive however the cast are so earnest and the film itself so endearingly old-fashioned at heart that you can overlook its numerous shortcomings and simply revel in what is one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable low-budget British flicks of the past few months.” My Bloody Flicks

The Darkness is an interesting film, chasing the atmosphere of a time-spanning, haunting tale of betrayal and cyclical troubles, but appears to be limited by the budget and also a tendency to disrupt its pace by lingering on elements that neither further the plot, nor add atmosphere.” Scared Sheepless

“It fully understands the expectations of the audience it’s aiming for, ticks all the right boxes and blends its familiar ingredients into a generally enjoyable confection. An additional story thread around possible infidelity perhaps over eggs the pudding a tad but nonetheless, The Darkness is a well-executed and visually arresting ghost story.” The Spooky Isles

“The advantage of the cursory dialogue does mean the film never lacks in pace. At the same time, though, it exposes the fact that many unspoken moments are underscored by a clichéd soundtrack that overuses frenzied violin sounds to try to strengthen the shock value. The result, however, is as unconvincing as the ropey Irish accents adopted by some of the cast…” The Upcoming

Scroll down for YouTube reviews

Release:

Dorcha premiered at the Marché Du Film at the Cannes Film Festival on 23rd June 2020.

Retitled The Darkness, Reel2Reel Films will release the film on Digital on 3rd May 2021.

Cast and characters:

Amelia Eve … Lisa
Adam Bond … Brian O’Connor
Jo Hart … Aliah O’Conner
Katherine Hartshorne … Niav O’Connor
Cyril Blake … David
Ivan Murphy … Doctor Henson
Michelle Archer … Roisin
Marian Elizabeth … Jane
Nicholas Gauci … Trevor
Natali Servat … Danielle
Gillian Kirkpatrick … Cailleach Bán
Mary Drake … Claire
Christopher Anson … Edward James
John Sugden … George
Max Gregor … Young George
Honey Subin … Witch’s attendant II

Technical details:

93 minutes

Trailer:

YouTube reviews:

MOVIES and MANIA round-up review and rating:

Overall, The Darkness is rather too languid and convoluted and a bit dull. Lead Amelia Eve is good in her role but some of the other cast is weak with some dodgy Oirish accents. It’s maybe worth a look if your expectations are low. Furthermore, The Darkness is a terrible generic title, they should have stuck with Dorcha, which is obviously more memorable.