Shedding Some Light on Darkroom
The main issue with Darkroom is that it doesn’t experiment with the horror genre. I was terribly disappointed to discover that this was a 2013 production, which would suggest that the horror genre has, is, and will continue to struggle with a crippling creative deficit. Or I could be wrong and this uninspired flick has just added another few points to my cynic counter. The main issue with Darkroom is that it is indistinguishable from other horror movies. Imagine opening up your freezer to see a rainbow of different popsicles, but despite their colors, the only flavor is grape; different look, same bitter aftertaste. Moving on.
Michelle is a party girl undergoing counseling after accidentally killing all her friends in a crash-and-burn car accident. What incited this? She was at a club with her boyfriend, happened to see a couple arguing, and tried to intervene. When the girl’s rowdy boyfriend got confrontational, Michelle’s boyfriend scrummed with him. They and their friends were promptly ejected from the club. Despite being extremely agitated and presumably tipsy, Michelle decides to drive them all home. Death. As you can see, there’s nothing new in the throwaway horror movie female lead department.
The “horror” engages when Michelle’s counselor has her take a modeling job at an abandoned mansion. No time is wasted luring her into the basement and locking her in a cell-like room and revealing the true nature of the “job.” There was never any modeling, ohoho no! You’ve got to be purged of your sins, dear girl. Enter the psycho, Bible-thumping family of three murderers that were beaten and tortured by their mother and subsequently developed a taste for low-budget torture porn.
Minus the last embellishment, that’s the entirety of the plot. Several stragglers attempt to enter play, such as a friendly girl Michelle met in counseling, and the backstory of the bloody trio, but let’s be honest here: All Darkroom has is the fundamental horror formula, to which it added nothing. Girl does something to make herself a target, girl is targeted, girl is captured, girl fights to escape.
And to think the most entertaining part of the movie was when she put all their PSA microphones next to each other and flooded the mansion’s basement with some ear-piercing feedback. Yet another fantastic success (hee hee) on the horror front, thanks to the amazing machinations of… whoever came up with this meager sub-horror filth.
Todd Helper of StaceyPageOnline believes that Darkroom was a waste of time as well. Since this was an indie movie, I suppose being more lenient is the polite thing to do. Personally, I prefer being brutally blunt and rather rude about bad movies. If this is how they wish to begin their career in filmmaking, I wholeheartedly suggest a full-stop and change of direction, because this one? This one is a no-no. Here’s the alt-review, even though you really should just avoid Darkroom on general principle: http://www.staceypageonline.com/2013/10/31/movie-review-darkroom/