The critical consensus in the case of The Darkness is that it is full of genre clichés. Truer words! But to be quite frank, so very little happens in this movie, it’s surprising that these clichés even get the chance to occur in the first place. Regardless, some of them are just necessary because an adult simply isn’t fucking dumb enough to bring home a bunch of haunted rocks unless they are some form of archaeologist. However, in the case of the neighbour’s dog going nuts. What the hell? If the demons summon rattlesnakes and wolves, why doesn’t the wolf attack the daughter instead of just popping its head out of the children’s tree house and then running off like a little bitch?
Rather depressingly this is just one of many wrong turns taken by the direction of this movie. For instance: Evil Native American spirits? Seriously? Kudos for antagonising those old race relations! Oh, and here come those trusty Hispanics because if they’re not doing your laundry or mowing your lawn, they’ll most certainly know everything there is to know about banishing evil spirits! Even Candyman (1992) managed to be culturally sensitive, for fuck’s sake.
Radha Mitchell at least looks emotionally invested, as she seems to be the only person who turned up to work to make a good movie. Kevin Bacon, on the other hand, after turning out a great performance in Jon Watt’s 2015 movie Cop Car, just seems to be running on permanent auto-pilot. Either that or he just got bored. I certainly did!
I don’t say this often. But this movie is even lazy as fuck. It transpires that the only way to get the spirits to sod off is by returning the rocks to their original resting place. So what do we suddenly have…a portal leading directly from the family’s home to that very spot. Just one step and you’re there. They could drive there. They know where it is. But no…let’s have a portal. Wouldn’t want the movie to get any more exciting than it isn’t!
Greg McLean, our dear (and seriously talented) director…what the fuck? Say it ain’t so! You should know better. Did you sign over your balls when you took on this project? What a joyless thing we have been left with here… The Darkness is Dark Skies (2015) without the aliens. It is Insidious (2011) without the ghosts. It is Poltergeist (1982) without the comedy and family heart. When I first saw Wolf Creek (2005) I felt a dread unlike any other. But in the case of The Darkness, I just want to forget that I ever saw it.