The Dark And The Wicked (2021)

Louise Straker (Marin Ireland) and her brother Michael (Michael Abbott Jr) return to their childhood home to offer support to their mother, after finding out that their father is gravely ill. However, they are not offered a warm welcome, but instead told that they “shouldn’t have come” by their mother Virginia (Julie Oliver-Touchstone).

The siblings begin to feel that something isn’t quite right in the house, and the strange behaviour of their mother only fuels their suspicions. It doesn’t take long for tragedy to strike, and set off a chain of events that threatens the souls of every member of the family.

Those looking for a fast paced horror, with buckets of gore, may be disappointed. This isn’t that sort of movie. This is a slow burning horror, where the creeping dread just edges closer and closer. The malevolence that occupies the house, toys with them, skulking in the shadows, breaking them down before it strikes.

Everyone is on top form. As a viewer you don’t just see what these people go through, but you feel it too. A feeling of doom just permeates the movie, to the point that you forget it’s fictional. This is horror in its purest form. No cheap jump scares (which I detest) in this movie. That is not horror. Horror is real people in terrifying situations, struggling to make sense of it. It’s the confusion mixed with fear, the unknown walking the periphery, waiting to unleash it’s true form.

Director Bryan Bertino (The Strangers) has crafted one of the best horrors I’ve ever seen. That may sound like hyperbole, but I assure you it is not. This is horror that wouldn’t feel out of place in an M. R. James collection. Strong contender for my film of the year.

The film will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and on digital to download and keep on 5 July 2021.

5/5

JM

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