Nearly murdered as a child by her mother, a woman (Katrina Law) returns to the (now abandoned) house where her mom went mad.On its face, the story is relatively simple and minimalistic. A group of three friends break into a house that one of them grew up in, and find that even twenty years later some of the things left behind are intact. Which may seem a bit far-fetched in a world full of urban spelunkers, but just go with it. Underneath this though, is a far more interesting concept.We are presented the idea that there could be such a thing as architecture-induced homicide. Rather than a house being haunted by spirits, the building itself causes those inside to go insane by the very way it was constructed. Strictly speaking, this is not a new idea. No less a figure than Lovecraft pursued this line of thinking with his "non-Euclidean geometry", and a connection between architecture and evil is suggested in "Ghostbusters II" (itself influenced by Lovecraft). Yet, this remains a rare plot point, and the writer deserves praise merely for attempting it.The effects are minor, but for the most part well done. There are some decent makeup effects on certain characters' eyes and faces that come across as being simple but quite effective. Maybe not KNB quality, but still better than anything Full Moon has made in the past decade or so. The hazy flashback camera effect is less effective, but if that is the worst that can be said about the film, it still gets a strong passing grade.The inclusion of Ted Raimi, by far the biggest name attached, is interesting in itself. Based on his absence from IMDb during production, and the way he does not interact with the other characters, it would appear he was added after the rest of the film was completed. Possibly his voice was even dubbed over another actor's at some point. Which is not to say this is a bad thing? if you have the opportunity to put Ted Raimi in your film, you put Ted Raimi in your film. (Speaking with Raimi, he confirms that he was the last one hired and did the role as a favor to his friend Austin reading, the director.) Overall, the film is fairly strong. There are a few shortcomings as one might expect from a lower budgeted horror picture, but the cleverness of the script overcomes this hurdle. "Darkness Rising" is out now from IFC Films.
A woman and her friends break into her abandoned childhood home, where her mother went mad and nearly murdered as a child.
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January 3, 2018 at 9:22 pm