A family is plagued by five ancient demons
who are targeting their young autistic son.
The Darkness (2016)
Directed by Greg McLean
Written by Greg McLean, Shayne Armstrong, S.P. Krause
Starring Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, Lucy Fry,
Paul Reiser, Ming-Na Wen, Trian Long Smith, Alma Martinez
Whenever I watch a movie like this, I always want to give extra props to films like The Conjuring, Insidious, and Sinister. It's tough for a ghost movie to stand out in the 21st century. Nearly every idea has been done to death, and the tropes are so easy to spot. Even character actors like Kevin Bacon need paycheck gigs, and The Darkness is nothing but. It wastes a really neat premise and turns into a watered-down ghost flick with no scares and no stakes. Plus, the whiny and irritating dialogue doesn't endear us to the cardboard cutout characters.
While on a trip to the Grand Canyon, young autistic Michael (Mazouz) stumbles into a sealed-off cave, where he finds five smooth, sacred rocks. He takes them and goes home with his family, where weird shit starts to happen. First off, the family starts falling apart emotionally due to the interference of the demons in the rocks. Peter (Bacon) and Bronny (Mitchell) can't seem to control their kids, with older daughter Stephanie (Fry) suddenly having an eating disorder that gets cleared up real easy off screen. They keep hinting that Peter is gonna cheat on his wife, but that story also fizzles out. If you're gonna make a ghost movie, how about you focus on the ghosts? Maybe make your horror movie a little scary now and then.
The Darkness is definitely one of the laziest ghost flicks of the 2010's. Nobody seems to care about the material, the story is beyond generic, and it just plain isn't scary. Beyond the premise of ancient tribal demons that predate Christianity, there's nothing concrete to enjoy about this movie. Horribly written, annoying characters, and nothing to make you jump.