film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Dark and the Wicked 2020 * * Stars


"Told you all not to come". Uh-oh, I'll bite. Those words while derivative, are never reassuring. 

Anyhow, 2020's The Dark and the Wicked is my latest write-up. It is well-acted and well cast as it stars unknowns Marin Ireland and Michael Abbott Jr. Things don't bode well for their characters when you think they might. Alas, "Wicked" is a rinse, repeat of all things that "go bump in the night". It concludes in a sort of confounding dead end.

The Dark and the Wicked is a mixed bag for me because it chooses terror-filled ilk over mucho substance. Call it sticky "wicked". Using weekday title cards a la The Shining, harboring low camera angles, and containing a look similar to 2018's Hereditary, "Wicked" creeps you out occasionally but you'll constantly wonder where it's all headed. Every jump scare, every ghastly image, every delusional grab, and every demonic coy sort of recycles itself into slugged continuum.

Distributed by RLJE films, shot in one location via Granbury, Texas, and directed by a guy known for horror fare (Bryan Bertino), The Dark and the Wicked is about a brother and sister who try to fight off an evil entity that has inhabited their grubby farmhouse. They could "get the heck out" Amityville Horror-style but their father is dying and they can't move the comatose old-timer. 

Now does The Dark and the Wicked send you away with your knees knocking? At times yes. Does it run out of wiggle room with all of its fiddling and blood-curdling excess? Sadly it does. "Wicked" takes ninety trawling minutes to revel in the hallucinatory, the unsettling, and the stylistic. Rather than tell a cohesive story that seems to start in the middle, director Bertino opts to just tease the audience with the macabre. He doesn't know when to quit. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment