A Dark Song: Review (BFI London Film Festival)

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Irish film director Liam Gavin debuted his new horror, A Dark Song, at the BFI London Film Festival.

If you’re a big horror fan or you’re just feeling a little bit daring this halloween, A Dark Song is one to check out.

Sophia (Catherine Walker) has lost her son and is determined to make contact with him through the darkest and most dangerous of ways. She approaches alcoholic and occultist, Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram) who makes her a promise that if she hires him (and pays A LOT of cash) he will fulfil her wish by performing a fatal ritual.

I had high hopes at the start of A Dark Song. Two characters, one big spooky house, creepy happenings, promising premise – simple. However, it takes a while for anything to really happen. Mr. Solomon (as he demands to be called) has that dominant Christian Grey vibe, but minus the dashing looks and add lots of alcohol and a cockney accent. He makes promises and seems to be highly educated about ‘the other side’, however, when there is little response from the spirits the relationship between him and Sophia results in petty bickering and awkwardness.

The cinematography has been done very well. The beautiful scenery surrounding the house is used to its full advantage and the detailing within, of candles, books, cracks and drawn on symbols is highly satisfying.

There are a series of magical arrangements within this film, and during any solid action the delivery from the director and actors is chilling.

Unfortunately, the grand finale is not so grand. Being the only sequence which features any CGI, it feels misplaced and forced. Sophia begins to loose her mind towards the end, camera angels and compositions become messy (which looks great to the eye) however, this is accompanied by a flat and over-the-top ending.

 

V

 

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