From the Dark puts a young couple, Sarah & Mark who are on a trip in the Irish countryside, against a creature that only hunts at night. A relatively low budget offering with a very small cast, From the Dark is a surprisingly entertaining flick that builds up tension nicely.
The movie opens showing a farmer digging up peat when he hits something solid in the ground. He digs around with his hands, discovers a wooden stake & what looks like a decomposing hand. He is then attacked & dragged into bog water by something unseen but he manages to escape back to his farmhouse.
Meanwhile Sarah & Mark (Niamh Alger & Stephen Cromwell) are travelling through the Irish countryside when they get their car stuck in some mud. With the sun setting & a lack of phone reception, Mark heads off to a local farmhouse to get help.
When he arrives, the house seems deserted but inside he finds the farmer from the start of the film. The man is almost catatonic & has some sort of wound on his neck. Mark heads back to Sarah & together they try to help the man but he turns violent.
The only thing that stops him killing them both is light. Trying to get away the pair are then attacked by a larger & more dangerous creature. It hurts Mark badly but they manage to frighten it off using light.
With the sun just having set & them being in the countryside it now becomes a desperate fight to find light sources to keep the creatures at bay. Can they survive until morning and just what are they?
From the Dark has an interesting story that is well told for the most parts. Early interactions between Sarah & Mark seem a little forced but later, when in peril, they are much more convincing as a couple. As the creature slowly destroys their light sources you really feel for them. There doesn’t seem to be a way out.
The movie did miss a trick with a potentially emotional gut punch later in the movie which was disappointing though.
As the film reaches its climax, Sarah as a character becomes a little too ‘badass’ to take seriously. Now, while it is great to see a strong female lead, her lack of fear & poor decision making actually becomes frustrating & disconnects you from her.
She is forced to remove her own finger & barely makes a sound. She gets a wooden stake through her foot & reacts as if she just stubbed her toe. It’s all a bit too silly to be enjoyable.
From the Dark does a great job of keeping its creature mysterious. It seems to be a form of vampire but its issue with even unnatural light adds some doubt. Why or how it was buried in the peat bog is never revealed. However it’s clearly smart enough to try & remove the light sources bit by bit.
Unfortunately, the dark setting & cheap visuals means you’re often struggling to see a lot of what is going on. That’s not helped once more & more lights are removed.
Sadly the ending also feels a bit dragged out but it’s a fitting enough finish to the story.
From the Dark