From the director of Haunting on Cellblock 11 (Andrew P. Jones) and starring Casper Van Dien, Zachary Mooren, Linara Washington and Jennifer Wenger. On the 7th July 2018, Wild Eye Releasing will premiere Darkness Reigns on VOD!
A found-footage style horror (sarcastic yay), it sees a film crew shooting in a supposedly haunted hotel. Filmed from the perspective of a young-film maker shooting footage for the behind the scenes part of the eventual DVD release. Just the usual stuff, cast interviews, make-up and demonic possessions.
The hotel in question doesn’t seem particularly ominous at first but in a well-done shock/jump-scare moment, the presence makes itself known in spectacular style. The doors slam shut and most of the crew are wiped out in an instant leaving the main cast to try and find a way out.
The survivors go room to room experiencing terrifying phenomena that actually has some punch to it. Credit where credit is due, Darkness Reigns has some effective moments and scares. Highlights include one of the crew find his dead mother in one of the bedrooms resulting in a really gory sequence and a bar-room scene that was clearly inspired by The Shining.
All very enjoyable, if you can get past the usual issues we get with this style of filming. Although, no-where as bad as many others within the found-footage genre, the static and shaky camera work still frustrates.
Decent acting and a really fun turn by Casper Van Dien playing himself ticks another box. Sadly the movie runs out of steam by the final third. The demon reveal isn’t great and a twist falls pretty flat, resulting in a dragged-out finale.
It’s a pity as for most of its run-time, Darkness Reigns is very entertaining and has some chilling moments. In modern ghostly/paranormal/haunting movies that itself is impressive.
Definitely worth a watch, just don’t expect a satisfying payoff.