DARK SENSE *** UK 2019 Dir: Magnus Wake. 93 mins
This ambitious low budget feature has Shane O’Meara as Simon, a troubled young man whose prophetic visions and telekinetic powers are demonstrated in an arresting childhood prologue. In the present, he’s a full-time carer for his sickly mum and receives a fresh vision: a serial killer will strike in four days. Meanwhile, he maintains a database of his extensive predictions, everything from Nuclear accidents to terrorist attacks – while helping MI5 and liaising with an ex-SAS Afghan-vet who has lost everything. An unusual character-driven thriller, Marcus Wake’s film is heavily influenced by the protagonists and political subplots of 1980’s Stephen King novels like THE DEAD ZONE and FIRESTARTER. O’Meara’s mission to get psychics taken seriously is balanced by amusing incidental details like the radio station all about mediums, and by the wider-reaching nature of the plot involving “the people who are really in charge”. The camerawork, drone shots and score lend it more production value than it would otherwise have, though the music perhaps ill-advisedly goes the full OMEN-era Jerry Goldsmith for an admittedly OTT climax. Centered around O’Meara’s sincere performance, it juggles multiple plot lines and characters, not always successfully and without much in the way of action. It is, however, well made on its own terms and commendable in its serious approach to a familiar subject.
Review by Steven West