Into the Dark (2012)

A common attribute of film distributors is an ability to be incredibly cunning – and I mean that in a nice way. Metrodome have this little chiller, billed as coming from the director of Breaking Dawn (which it is) and no doubt they’ll see the sales charts spike immediately as a couple of thousand bored teenies rush out to the supermarket to buy it. I can hear them now – “Hey Chantelle, this is by the fella that did Breaking Dawn… maybe Robert Pattinson is in it too?”. Obviously the Breaking Dawn that Metrodome refer to is the rather less well publicised one from 2004 starring Edie McClurg (Steve Martin’s airport check-in nemesis in Planes, Trains & Automobiles), but hey, its accurate so fair play to them.

After enduring a name change from I Will Follow You Into The Dark, the film begins with Sophia (Mischa Barton) holding the hand of her dying father who’s lying in a hospital bed. As he endures his final hours, he shares with his daughter the hope that she will find somebody to share her life with. Following his death Sophia begins to retreat into herself and starts to question what she was taught as a child with regard to spirituality, her place in the universe and most specifically the idea of an afterlife.

As her grief intensifies she shares with her doctor her state of mind, and the fact that she feels unable to meet someone for the reason of not wanting to experience such feelings of loss again. Out of the blue though, she bumps into Adam (Ryan Eggold) and begins to fall for his joviality and general outlook of positivity. The first social event that they share is a guided tour around a haunted apartment block that certainly seems to cement any feelings of a burgeoning romance.

After a particularly vivid nightmare one evening, Sophia wakes up in a state of hysteria. Needing to hear someone’s voice she phones Adam, who immediately tells her to come over to his apartment. She shares with him her personal troubles with regard to her own life, and in doing so seems to benefit emotionally, certainly enough to enable her relationship with Adam to develop further. One night however, things take a dramatic turn for the worst when Sophia wakes in the middle of the night to discover Adam missing from his bed with patches of blood remaining where he slept. Employing the assistance of Adam’s roommate Astrid (Leah Pipes), the two begin the frantic search for where Adam might be.

Into The Dark takes almost an hour to reach its main plot destination, and many viewers would find that a tad too long to wait for some horror orientated thrills and spills. Fear not though, the first hour of this picture actually contains something of a rarity in our genre – character development. Mischa Barton is great as the conflicted Sophia, and although we get to know far less about Adam, Ryan Eggold gives a solid performance as her love interest.

A gripe from me would be the final third, whilst by no means a disaster I just felt that it veers sporadically into the conventional (and occasionally irrational) contemporary horror flick far too easily, which was a shame considering its measured and patient initial build-up. Otherwise though, it’s a solid little horror tale that at the very least aspires to be something original in a sea of remakes and imitations.

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