When Dean Stockwell tells you to sacrifice something on the weird altar he’s brought you to in the middle of the forest, just do it. And when a troglodyte hands you a sharp object and demands you bash in Dean Stockwell’s head, you might as well just do that, too.
Dr. Michael Cayle (Sean Patrick Thomas, The Burrowers, Halloween: Resurrection) moves his family to Ashborough, a small town where people are weird and traditions are even weirder. The locals don’t like him, not because he’s the only black person in town, no, no, no, no. But because he refuses to sacrifice a living creature to the trogs that live in the woods. And now the trogs are pissed.
Based on the eponymous novel by Michael Laimo, Deep in the Darkness (2014) is a pretty stupid film that often feels like a Lifetime movie-of-the-week. Dialogue is forced, characters have no motivation (other than to appease those neanderthals in loincloths) and everyone is cagey and secretive in order for it to somehow feel gothic or atmospheric. It manages to accomplish neither.
So Bad It’s Just Bad
I’m not too sure about you, but I think I could outsmart a group of cave-dwelling troglodytes. Unlike every single person that lives in Ashborough. Somehow these trogs have managed to instate a curfew, demand sacrifices of all new arrivals and even impregnate a few of the human ladies in town. Don’t get me wrong, they also impregnate the trog ladies. And when something goes awry during said pregnancies, they drag Dr. Cayle out to their cave to perform a troglodyte cesarean. Sadly, mother trog doesn’t make it. The other trogs mourn her by feasting on her carcass, a touching tradition upheld with all their dead. This gives Dr. Cayle an idea. Next time, he’ll use some of that bubonic plague he keeps in his office to infect the dying trog. The others will feast and the plague will instantaneously do its thing. Wham-bam, you know how it goes. Ingenious. But then his wife gives birth to a trog baby and she was in on it the whole time. Or something like that. By this point, does it really even matter anymore?
I don’t really recommend Deep in the Darkness, though I do think it’s worth checking out if you feel like having a bunch of friends over, getting drunk and making fun of something godawful. Track down Trog or The Pit if you’re really in the mood for a movie about troglodytes. At least both of those fit into the so-bad-they’re-great category. Not recommended.
Availability: Netflix US, Netflix Canada