A decent film with a strong performance from Durand that despite some enjoyable moments, in the end, felt somewhat unfulfilled.
A small town sheriff tries to ignore the evil suddenly surrounding his community after a logging company sets up in the remote forest location nearby and soon he will not be able to deny that something sinister is happening.
This film was a mixed bag, while there were many things about it that I really liked, it just seemed the story-line, after building some intrigue seemed to lose some focus towards the end. The acting was much better than traditional horror films and that was what kept this from getting a much lower grade, although in my opinion this was much more a thriller than a horror film.
Kevin Durand was surprisingly compelling as the lead in a film that pretty much gives you a simple horror plot. His performance brought the quality up immensely. I have been a fan of Durand for some time and it was enjoyable to watch him carry this film on his shoulders. He was able to deliver the role of a truly grieving man who has recently lost a son and is separated from his wife. He is a good father, a decent man, and Durand’s portrayal makes the character one you can generate some interest in. You can connect to him, his struggles and with his demeanor, and expressions you can feel the guilt he feels.
Lukas Haas was also a strong side-character and with Durand they both clearly carried the rather uneventful script. The cast clearly made the most out of the material and it would have been great if there could have been a more gripping story-line woven around them. The story did build some tension and anticipation, but in the end the writing failed to complete the story arc with much impact.
The third-act did try to deliver a climactic ending, but it just felt rather ordinary, and lacked the suspense that could have closed the story out with full potential. The settings were nice to create a cold, dreary landscape and it did work to pull me into the story. But with routine shots of prop feet and a over focus on hoof prints it just failed to pull my full attention and intrigue. The story kept going back to glimpses of feet or legs of a creature just out of the corner of the eye, just out of frame, and it felt kind of cheesy.
Overall “Dark Was the Night” turned out to be a decent film that offered a nice suspenseful plot which unfortunately failed to completely intrigue – mostly with an unneeded (attempted) horror twist added to the theme. Kevin Durand was quietly excellent with his performance and he alone makes this film worth a watch. You may enjoy it, but you will see the lost potential more than what you see on the screen.