PRIME TIME: 2 flicks that get inside the head, but do they deliver the horror?

These two films explore the fears, memories, dark sides, and mental states of two different people: a single father and a single woman. But is what’s going on in their heads scary to us?

DARK SILENCE (2016)

I can’t be hard on this one despite it not being my kind of horror flick. In other words, it’s a “deep” film. 

A man is haunted by his own demons, which begin to manifest in dreams and delusions as a freaky masked figure that is after his daughter. That alone brings some good horror entertainment value.

Trippy and surreal, this is more a character study translated into visual horrors rather than a “scary” movie. The sequences are definitely eerie and atmospheric, but it becomes somewhat repetitive as it moves towards a conclusion you can see coming if you’ve been around the horror block a few times.

The daughter is creepy—trauma has led to her not talking and having a doll for a friend. And dad has a beard, wears flannel, and runs around shirtless in all his dreams sequences, so no complaints there.

I like that the film doesn’t rely solely on the masked freak, instead bringing in some creepy corpses representing the guilt he has over those he’s lost in his life. But that does cause the trajectory of the film to be spelled out for the audience rather than metaphorical, so it just falls a bit flat in the end.

ALONE IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT (2017)

Hottie Matty Castano, director of 1 Dead Party, is back with another horror flick.

In this one, a young woman with a bad knee is trapped in her apartment by a masked creep…but not until an hour into the movie!

It’s really astounding that absolutely nothing of importance happens for most of this film! We meet the main girl, her friend comes over to hang for a while, they talk a bit about her ex-boyfriend, there’s a little promise of something creepy going on when they hear noises from the empty apartment next door…

…but it all goes nowhere and the friend leaves. After that…holy fuck! It is just one montage after another as we watch the main girl do random girlie things like trying on clothes and doing her makeup. I seriously can’t comprehend that anyone would watch this film back and think that any of this worked. The only bone we are thrown is a gross body horror moment.

It’s a shame, too, because once she gets chased by a masked creep, this film has real potential. There’s an absolutely claustrophobic scene in the bathroom in which a freaky demon woman thing terrorizes her. I fricking loved this scene.

It has a very Silent Hill vibe, and if there were more of this, I would have been able to overlook that the psychological horror aspect of the film didn’t clarify anything by the end. I really have no idea what this chick’s deal was, or if anything she experienced really happened.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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