Someone’s Got a Monster Foot Fetish
There was a time when monster movies managed to introduce iconic figures to the horror mainstream. When I was a kid, we had Predator, Alien, Pumpkinhead and even Killer Klowns. Sure, most were created by Stan Winston, but at least the folks behind the movies were attempting something original in their creature design. With Jack Heller’s Dark Was The Night (2014) we get another generic monster that looks like a weird hybrid between a raptor and an orc. Nothing new there.
Sheriff Paul Shields (Kevin Durand, The Strain, Cosmopolis) and the people of Maiden Woods are threatened by something that lives in their woods. When a coming storm forces the townspeople to take shelter in the local church, Shield and his deputy must protect those they care about as the creature lays siege on their sanctuary.
When the coolest part of a monster is its feet, you know you’ve got a problem. Though I guess when that’s the case, it’s smart to spend most of the movie only showing its cloven tootsies. By the time we get to see the whole creature, it’s about five minutes before the end of the movie and the big reveal is underwhelming. Which is too bad, since the human aspect to Dark Was The Night had me completely on board for most of the flm. Their struggles and relationships were engaging, and with a supporting cast filled with the likes of Lucas Haas (Inception, The Revenant) and Nick Damici (Late Phases, Stake Land) the performances surpass expectations. But a few shots of monster feet does not a monster movie make and in the end, Dark Was The Night will leave you nostalgic for the days when Stan Winston was making the kind of monsters that could still haunt the nightmares of a grown-ass man well into his late-thirties.
If you’re in the mood for something big and scary hiding in the shadows, you’d be better off watching Dog Soldiers, The Host or Troll Hunter. Not recommended.
Availability: Netflix US