By Will Barber – Taylor
Below the streets of New York is a dark and dangerous world hidden in the shadows of the abandoned subway tunnels and miles of forgotten infrastructure. When a young documentary filmmaker goes into these tunnels to uncover the unseen stories of the people living below our feet, she finds out that there is more to be afraid of than the dark. A mysterious figure ANGEL (Danny Trejo – Sons of Anarchy, Machete, Machete Kills) living beyond the reach of the law, has declared a personal war on the outside world that threatens to tear apart the fragile underground society living in the tunnels and maybe even the city above.
Darkness Descends is a film that is not exactly sure of its self. At some points it seems like a horror flick, at other points it seems like a found videotape type film and at others it seems like a bad superhero movie (I’m looking at you Sin City). It isn’t really made clear what is happening in the present, the past or what is just the imagination. While the movie is well filmed it doesn’t seem to be able to make some visual difference between what is happening now, or has happened and is just being recalled for the sake of the documentary maker. It seems as though time bends around the camera. If the film was about time travel or something of that ilk that it might work out but because this is meant to be a fairly realistic film it doesn’t work and isn’t convincing to the audience.
The acting is fairly well done if a bit static at times. Trejo is pretty convincing as the mysterious Angel and often appears really threatening. Kinga Phillips is also excellent, as is Emmy award winning Frank Krueger.
The main problem with the film isn’t so much the acting or setting but the actual plot. At times, it seems like a cliché but other times it does present some original ideas. The problem with it is that it doesn’t feel unique. It does have a feel to it but is feels like a borrowed tone as I said earlier though it doesn’t seem to be sure what tone it is borrowing. The film would have probably been a lot better if it had a better edit. You can see the people who have made the film are trying but it seems they are just trying a bit too hard at times. It does feel as though the film was given a rather forced birth and didn’t have any natural progression.
Darkness Descends is an interesting and different sort of film. If you like to see young, up and coming talent then this is probably the film for you. Though it is rough around the edges and not fully formed, it is still interesting enough in its own right.