The Dark and the Wicked (2020)

The Dark and the Wicked
Director: Bryan Bertino
Writer: Bryan Bertino
Cast: Marin Ireland, Michael Abbott Jr., Xander Berkeley, Lynn Andrews, Julie Oliver-Touchstone, Tom Nowicki
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2020

Louise (Marin Ireland) and Michael (Michael Abbott Jr.) have returned home to their parents’ farm in the middle of nowhere where their father is dying. As he gets weaker by the day, something around the farm seems to get stronger – something dark and twisted that soon seems to take over the farm and the family, becoming ever more threatening.

The Dark and the Wicked annoyed me from, basically, the first minute and we never got past that, the film and I. The longer it went on, the more annoyed I was.

The film poster showing an upside down cross in red brushstokes on a black background. A windmill can be seen inside the cross.

I can’t even say why the film annoyed me as much as it did, though I am sure that the aggressive sound design was part of the issue. Another part was that the film felt absolutely smug to me. Convinced that it was some kind of masterpiece and dangling that conviction into our faces with a smirk. And yet another part was that the story remained unclear and illogical to me.

But whatever the reason for my annoyance, my movie experience here was decidedly marred. The film kept insisting that I should be scared now, are you scared yet, look how scary it is, BOO! And my reaction to that insistence was equally stubborn: I just refused to engage with the film anymore at all.

Louise (Marin Ireland) screaming.

I first looked at my watch after an hour or so and was absolutely devastated that the film would be going on for another half hour after that. I should have probably left at that point, but I was too reluctant to do so.

The film does have one great advantage: baby goats are extremely cute and there is more than one in the film. But I’m afraid that’s all the good I can say about it.

Louise (Marin Ireland) and her brother Michael (Michael Abbott Jr.) sitting at the table.

Summarizing: ugh, no.

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