DARKNESS REIGNS *** USA 2017 Dir: Andrew P. Jones 80 mins
A film maker, Daniel takes a job as the camera man for a behind the scenes documentary on the set of a paranormal movie called “Defanatus Soul”. He becomes famous for documenting and surviving what the rest of the cast did not when they choose a haunted hotel for the setting of their movie. When evil spirits are awakened they will not allow the movie to take place or even let any of the crew leave but does this also have something to do with a deal that Daniel made?
Yes it is another paranormal movie and yes it heavily incorporates found footage too but I actually thought this was well done. It isn’t anything new as such but it is quick paced and well acted, with characters that you don’t instantly hate. I think because they have gone for an older cast so there are none of the teen to early twenties ditzy blondes or dumb jocks spouting those awful lines. Zachary Mooren (Aquarius) as Daniel steps up to the lead really well, with Linara Washington (Greys Anatomy) as Vanessa the sets make up artist and Peter Mayer (EXORCIST HOUSE OF EVIL) as Sidney a medium brought in to oversee the authenticity of the original film. they all have a great onscreen presence and flow well together. It also has a cameo role for Casper Van Dien (STARSHIP TROOPERS and SLEEPY HOLLOW) as himself. There are a few of the usual jump scares but luckily not too many. The costumes and make up for the demons are less on the horror side more on the fantasy side of things, one of the main demons looks a bit like a goblin from The Hobbit movies but they have put a lot of effort into making them look good. Other special effects are fine and the soundtrack is the usual kind of thing but effective. Can’t really fault a whole lot about it, it is one of the better low budget attempts that is worthy of a watch.
Review by Sarah Budd