It’s time to play Name That Creature!
Vampire? Ghoul? Revenant? Other?
A reasonably attractive couple experiences car trouble while touring the Irish countryside. This wouldn’t normally be a big deal, except their mishap coincides with the accidental resurrection of an undead dude by a clumsy sod farmer.
After holing up in the farmer’s house, Fay (Niamh Algar) takes charge of their situation, maintaining a level head under extreme duress. Mark (Stephen Cromwell) reverts to a whiny little piss pants.
Fay figures out the monster is extremely light averse and sensibly surrounds herself with headlights, lanterns, candles, lamps, lighters, and a cell phone, all while trying to keep her doofus husband conscious and motivated.
Writer-director Conor McMahon (Stitches) skillfully renders From The Dark in miniature, with only four characters in the whole movie, including the living dead one (Ged Murray). The events unfold in real time, with no atmospheric cutaways.
McMahon keeps the camera tightly focused on Fay’s anguished face, her head on a swivel trying to get a bead on a shrouded figure who’s at home in the darkness.
But what is it?
A vampire, probably, but at times behaves more like a slobbering ghoul, this creature doesn’t speak a word. He just comes and goes until the inevitable showdown right before dawn.
It’s a well-conceived monster, if a bit insubstantial at times.
There are pacing problems. From The Dark roars out of the gate like a cyclone and calms down considerably in the Second Act, as the couple sweats it out in captivity.
But that sweet, sweet tension is never far away, and Fay knows she’s in for a real street fight.