03 February 2015

OUT OF THE DARK (2014)

OUT OF THE DARK

Colombia / USA / Spain, 2004
Director: Lluís Quílez

7/10










 
"Out Of The Dark", one of only two Colombian horror films I have ever seen (the other one was "The Squad"), is the debut feature of Colombian director Lluís Quílez, an above-average supernatural horror thriller, following a young couple and their daughter who move to Colombia to take over a family manufacturing plant. What starts out pleasant, quickly becomes a nightmare: the house is haunted by grim-looking ghost children, the daughter contracts a mysterious and seemingly incurable sickness, and it all seems to be connected to an ancient legend that leads back to the Spanish colonization of Colombia...


Based on a screenplay by Àlex & David Pastor ("Carriers") and Javier Gullón ("King of the Hill"), Quílez created a superb little creepfest, full of highly effective chills and thrills that gave me a wonderfully scary time. With a look that reminds me of recent Guillermo del Toro productions (like "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark") and a story that successfully recycles elements from movies like "Vinyan", "The Orphanage" or "The Changeling", the movie perfectly managed to lure me in and scare the living hell out of me, especially in the first half which is packed with long, super-eerie and very well developed scenes/sequences and heartattack-causing shocks. The scenes with the dumbwaiter and the toy ball are just wow!

The cast is just great. Great performances and believably chemistry between the still-underrated Scott Speedman ("Underworld 1+2") and the sexy Julia Stiles ("Bourne" Trilogy), Oscar nominee Stephen Rea ("The Crying Game") and stunning child actress Pixie Davies. There's lots of uber-gorgeous settings and locations (the old plant! the small house at the river!), all fabulously filmed and photographed by the immensely talented Isaac Vila.


In terms of jump scares and story development, the second half is a tad too repetitive, though the love-it-or-hate-it ending (I loved it!) made up for that. Aside from some hokey CGI and a rather bland score, "Out Of The Dark" is a wonderful little horror gem, recommended!

Imdb

Oh btw, the "Out of the Dark" poster looks a lot like the poster for "Vinyan"...


Thanks to Richard Stafford (Prodigy PR) for the screener!

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