First off, let me tell you how much Ghosts of Darkness deserves a theatrical release. I know that it is an independent film and it has a few issues which we will get to, but overall this movie is better than 90% of the movies that companies throw at the big screen today. Before I even get into my formal review I just want everyone to know that I will be recommending this movie to all of my friends. This is the kind of movie that you want to own, which is a rare honor in today’s media market.
Now that I got my fanboy out of the way I can give you a proper review. The plot of Ghosts of Darkness is nothing spectacularly new, but it is not an idea that has been done to death either. Two professionals with two very different views on the paranormal are paid handsomely to spend 3 nights in a house that is supposedly haunted. Why 3 days? Because that is the longest that anyone has ever stayed in the house before dying a violent death.
The movie starts slow, we’re talking Paranormal Activity slow, which may turn a lot of people off. There is a lot of dialogue and both sides demonstrating what they do when it comes to the paranormal. Though the movie is slow to build, they do a decent job of peppering in some humor along the way. When the action does start, all hell breaks loose, literally.
For an independent film, Ghosts of Darkness does a great job with most of their special effects. I have seen a lot of independent horror films and special effects are not usually their strong suit. I found them generally creepy and acceptably realistic with the exception of one scene towards the end of the movie. In fact, the entire setting of the movie was beautiful from the outside scenery to the sets inside the mansion.
The acting was a bit of a bone of contention for me in this movie. If there is one thing that I didn’t like about this movie it was the performance by actor Michael Koltes. I felt that is was lacking and his delivery fell flat which is strange because he is a fairly accomplished actor. On the other side of the coin, Paul Flannery delivers a magnificent performance considering that this movie is his only film credit. I loved his performance and felt as though he was possibly playing a version of himself in this film.
The film itself is just amazing. Sure, it takes a long time to build up to the action, but when it hits, it hits hard. I have seen more horror movies in the past 12 months than most people will watch in their lifetime and I can say that this movie genuinely creeped me out. They perfectly played on every element of horror from suspense, to jump scares, to flat out gore. They use shadows and timing to make generic scenes just a little more intense. Mostly, this movie does a great job of turning what could have been a generic horror film into a study in how to make a great indie horror film.
I enjoyed this movie so much that I will gladly purchase it for my own collection. I would highly recommend that you not only see this film but own it to support a film and filmmakers that remind us how great the independent arts can be.
Ghosts of Darkness is available on VOD on March 7.