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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DVD Review: A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS (2002)

A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS is one of those rare films that nobody has heard of, but everybody should definitely see. Here is the plot synopsis from the Indican Pictures website:

After four years of incarceration at the state mental hospital, a madman is set free. Now the only imprisonment he faces is the one within the confines of his own tortured mind. He returns to his hometown to find that the madness that haunts him had its beginnings there behind the veneer of suburban bliss. The lost souls of this town seek redemption and when Taylor Melnick reenters their lives it sets in motion a journey of lust, betrayal, intrigue and crazed addictions. This is the harrowing story of Taylor Melnick's last days on earth.

First of all, don’t let the DVD cover mislead you; this film is nothing like The Devil’s Rejects or Saw, like the back cover states. I’m not sure who thought this movie was similar to either of those because it has only a minuscule smidge of gore and no real violence to speak of. It is, however, similar to 'The Shining', in that it contains a lot of mysticism and supernatural tones.

The film is shot very well and has plenty of suspenseful scenes. Some of the creepiest came from a series of flashbacks, where we see interactions between a young Taylor and his cruel mother (played by the ever-awesome Karen Black). Taylor’s mother often tells him that she cannot believe he’s still alive and that she expects God to take him at any minute. His sadistic mother’s rhetoric is what sets Taylor down the path of dementia.

I especially liked Taylor’s alcoholic neighbor. She makes a habit of just barging in to Taylor’s life at the most inopportune times, always intoxicated, and always making his life more difficult. Although there is a bit of comic-relief with this situation, the majority of the time I felt uncomfortable for Taylor shortly afterward.

The overarching story revolves around Taylor and an archaeological dig he is working on for his uncle. Taylor and the crew have to find evidence of an Indian burial ground or else a corporation is going to bulldoze the site for development. But unbeknownst to Taylor, there are forces at work behind the scenes, forces he never suspected.

The ending has a nice twist and even a moral message. If you like suspense and taut thrillers, then this movie is definitely for you. With top-notch acting and a well thought-out script, A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS is a must for your DVD collection.

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD


CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Indican Pictures

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