Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red... and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!

REVIEW: Devil in the Dark

– By Dale Saxton

Two brothers Clint and Adam head deep into the British Columbian forest/mountains to bag themselves a deer and bond after many years apart.

It’s a simple enough premise and there’s definitely a lot of elements we’ve seen before, but I still think this has enough to warrant a viewing.

At first glance our two leads seem like two-dimensional cliches. The rough and tumble, father’s favourite, outdoorsy type, who took over the family business (which isn’t important) and the introvert, comic book reader, who left home for the big city.

I found myself groaning at the character introductions. But then we delve deeper…

The first act burns slow. It allows a lot of time with the characters. It throws a lot of information at us, regarding back-stories between the brothers, before we even set foot in the forest.

It gives us enough so that we’re mildly intrigued as to how they get on together during their camping trip.

All the while this is framed with flashbacks of their dad dragging clint through the forest, trying to find Adam. Who was lost in there, on a father-sons camping trip, as a young boy. He seems to constantly dream about this moment, being lost in the forest. The dreams only intensify as the story moves closer to the events of the past.

It’s interesting and atmospheric. I really have to commend the cinematographer, Philip Lanyon, for nailing the atmosphere and pulling off some absolutely gorgeous images.

The second half doesn’t really pay off or capitalise on the time invested earlier on. There’s some interesting ideas and great horror imagery but it never really ties together as a whole. We have a lot of character investment to ready us for the move into the forest and I was hoping for something a little more complex.

Sadly, it hopped on the tracks and played through the linear horror tropes of a ‘something in the woods’ movie.

Creature design is pretty uninspired, despite the great production design work of the devil’s lair. And as the action starts to hop up and we feel like the horror could start to climb, we’re reduced to cuts to black. A simple get out clause for not thinking of a way out for the characters. Just cut to black, skip ahead and let the audience fill in the blanks. Not great, because in my opinion the blanks could’ve been exciting sequences!

It’s worth watching for the cinematography and top-notch atmosphere alone though. The leads (Dan Payne & Robin Dunne) do carry the film well. But there are many missed opportunities that just let it fall flat.

2½ / 5

Devil in the Dark is available on VOD nationwide in the U.S. from Momentum Pictures on Tuesday, March 7th.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Slaughtered Bird Films’ horror short film, BURN, nabs festival awards!
We don’t like to blow our own trumpets here at The Slaughtered Bird but, y’know, FUCK IT – we’re damn proud of our debut film production, BURN, created in collaboration with Dragon Egg Media! Since post-production finished last year, our 15-minute short has received numerous excellent reviews, been busy finding its feet on the festival circuit and gratefully receiving many Official Selection laurels from around the world, and now it’s picked up its first award… or three! Read on...
INTERVIEW: David Naughton
untitled It’s not every day you get to speak to the lead actor in possibly your favourite horror film of all time. Especially on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are usually rubbish! David Naughton should need no introduction to horror fans. Back in 1981, An American Werewolf In London had unprepared cinema goers laughing heartily one second and jumping out of their seats in terror the next. Its tale of two young American tourists coming face-to-teeth with a legendary lycanthropic beast perfectly married a genuinely funny script with razor sharp editing, groundbreaking special effects and a flawless cast to create a monster movie that is still many people’s benchmark today Read on...
Advertise HERE!
CQJR7SyWwAADBd_ We currently have advertising space available at very reasonable rates, so if you have a product you want to let people know about then please email us at with your needs and we can give you more info. Read on...