Dark House (2014) *
D: Victor Salva
C: Luke Kleintank, Alex McKenna, Tobin Bell, Lesley-Anne Down, Anthony Rey Perez, Zack Ward, Lacey Anzelc, Ethan S. Smith, Charles Agron, Daniel Ross Owens, Max Gail, Patricia Belcher
IMDB Plot Synopsis: When Nick Di Santo leanrs that his father is not only alive, but can possibly reveal the origin of his son's dark gift, he sets out on a trip that takes him to an abandoned mansion he thought only existed in his childhood imagination.
REVIEW: In the first act, we're introduced to the characters. The overall scenario is established. Tobin Bell, of Saw fame, come in and does his menacing old man bit, a role he can play in his sleep by now. And from there on out, until the film's conclusion, nothing really happens. The characters run around. They scream. They try to figure out what's going on. Two characters even run off to have sex. I guess they figured if they're going to go out, they might as well do it with a bang, both literally and figuratively!
Anyway, what I mean by nothing happens, nothing happens that drives the story forward, nothing that helps to explain what's going on, nothing that develops the character beyond what we have seen in the first act. From a story standpoint, the film comes to a complete stand still.
It's in the last 15 or so minutes of the film that it tries to explain itself. The film presents us with one new piece of information after another, after another, after another. ...Well you get the point. The problem with presenting so much info in such a short period of time is that it becomes information overload. None of these new story elements are allowed enough time to properly develop or shine on their own.
When it comes to story structure, you want to unveil the film layer by layer. This gives viewers a reason to want to follow the film from beginning to end, as it allows viewers to become intrigued by each new story element as it's unfolding.
What ultimately sinks this sinking ship of a film, is the ultimate revelation at the end. What happens, renders everything else pointless. The end feels like the beginning. The ending should of been the jumping off point for this entire film. Since the ending is really the beginning and everything else before that is useless, what's the point of watching a film that has no real point and no real story to tell? [R] 104 mins.
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