Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2015 October Horror Challenge #37 "Dark was the Night"

This movie must have arrived without much fanfare, because there's not much information out there about it.  The premise sounds intriguing, though: a remote logging operation is the site of something evil.  The cops and other residents of a small town aren't prepared to fight an evil force.  When animals start disappearing, they figure there must be some logical explanation, but then the entire team of loggers disappears, and the replacement workers sense that something is seriously wrong.  Something evil.

You know me, I'm a suckered for "there's something evil in the woods" stories, and having lived my whole life in small towns, I am aware of their quirks and how they operate,  so I tend to gravitate toward movies that explore small town evils.  This movie does that, and does it well, despite what the critics may think.  Hey, Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars, so I'm apparently not alone in thinking it deserves some props.

The characters are likeable enough.  The Sheriff who has to deal with single fatherhood after his, wife left Jim to care for their young son, has a lot on his plate and can be forgiven for at first thinking that the mysterious happenings in the woods must have a logical explanation.  Most people in small towns aren't going to jump immediately to the conclusion that monsters must be involved (present company excepted, of course...but then we saw the opening sequence featuring an arm ripped right from the socket, so we know something the sherif doesn't know).

There's not much gore to be seen hete, even the aforementioned "arm ripped off" is fairly bloodless, but there's a sense of menace that is strong throughout the movie, so I found it suspenseful instead of boring, even when nothing is happening - there's always the sense that something is right around the corner.  I liked this movie.

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