Thursday, November 10, 2016

5 things to love about Leif Jonker’s Darkness (1993)

What’s it about:
A young man called Toby joins forces with a group of teenagers after they return from a concert to discover their parents have been murdered by a group of roaming vampires who are travelling from town to town. They set out to track the vampires down and destroy them once and for all. The whole thing is shot on Super 8 over the course of 2 and half years and had a budget of $5000.

5 things to love:
1. The gore is the main reason to watch this film. It isn’t perfect (at times it’s obvious they haven’t mixed the fake blood right and it looks too pink and watery) but they really go for it in terms of quantity. The interesting idea with the vampires in this film is that they attack in groups and don’t bite necks, they tear into victims and let blood spray everywhere. The film also ends in a spectacular climax where a huge group of vampires get caught in the sunlight causing them to melt and explode.

2. The opening of the film is probably the best scene of the whole film. It’s a great set up for a film. A guy covered in blood runs into a gas station and starts raving about vampires to all the patrons inside. It’s tense, mysterious, fast-paced and is a fantastic opening.

3. The movie has a lot of low budget ingenuity. I was genuinely impressed that, given the miniscule budget, they had a lot of outdoor scenes and a lengthy sequence involving a guy wielding a chainsaw.

4. The film has a really good pace and gets pretty intense in places. As I said, the budget is tiny but there’s some well-directed sequences of people getting chased through the streets at night by vampires.

5. In terms of innovative ways of killing vampires I’ve never seen anything as genius as the scene where Toby leads a group of vampires through a river and then turns around and blesses the water!

1 thing it didn’t need:
Constant metal score. Just my personal taste. I get that horror and metal seem to go hand in hand but it hurt the atmosphere this film was trying to build up.

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