Out of Darkness: A Jaw-Dropping Horror Debut
Out of Darkness Review — A Jaw-Dropping Horror Debut Finds the Light
Andrew Cumming’s debut film Out of Darkness is a jaw-dropping Horror set during the Stone Age.
What Is Out of Darkness About?
Set 45,000 years ago, the film begins with an exposition dump in the form of a fireside story. We learn that this group of six travelers, Beyah (Safia Oakley-Green), Adem (Chuku Modu), Geirr (Kit Young), Ave (Iola Evans), Odal (Arno Lüning) and Heron (Luna Mwezi), have landed in a strange new land (the actual shooting location is Scotland) where they hope they’ll be able to find a place to build a life free from danger. They all speak a language of the film’s creation, invented by Dr. Daniel Andersson, and the cast each do so naturally. Still, survival proves to be more difficult than they realize as, in addition to a lack of food and shelter, there is something in the darkness that seems to be pursuing them. Is it some sort of stealth Cloverfield-esque monster? A demon that is going to tear them up and eat them? None of them know, but their minds run wild with possibilities as they try to survive in an already harsh world that has been made even more so.
Out of Darkness Ends on a High Note
Once the film emerges from the forest, the title ends up taking on a greater significance as we discover that it is not just a literal darkness but a lack of knowledge that threatens the group. What it was they were missing is something that can’t be touched on even a little bit, but it is ultimately clear that there was far more going on that none of them were aware of. Once everything clicks into place for you as the audience, and you trace back the trajectory of how the various encounters went with this being, the film retroactively becomes a bit more existentially tragic. It remains dragged down by the frequently directionless sections that preceded it, but the conclusion still finds something more to hang its hat on. When what was quite scattered is brought into painfully sinister focus, Out of Darkness finds the light.
Out of Darkness: Caveman Horror Movie Has Night Scenes You Can Actually See
Out of Darkness offers enough in its current form to be worth your time, and suggests a promising future in Horror Movies for its director.
Out of Darkness Is Two Different, Incompatible Movies
The filmmakers cite as inspirations Alien, The Thing, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and a critical component of these Horror Movie classics is the fundamental unknowability of their antagonists. They aren’t kept from us — we even get lectures on the two extraterrestrials. But there’s a sense that the more we see of them, the less we understand. Where Out of Darkness wants to take us, by contrast, hinges on understanding. It’s almost like Cumming has made two films, one through aesthetics and atmosphere and one through story and theme, that ultimately can’t coexist. Neither is a bad film, but the former makes a much greater impression, and I wish it had been seen through to the end. Still, Out of Darkness offers enough in its current form to be worth your time, and suggests a promising future for its director. If his next movie can fully synthesize story and style, it could prove one of the horror standouts of its year.