I recently received a blu-ray copy of a 2016 movie titled A Dark Song having never seen or heard of the movie before. After watching it I can tell you it is a movie that can really take a toll on the viewer and leave you feeling exhausted.
Without giving away too much; in this movie we find a young mother, Sophia, who recently lost her son and still dealing with the grief. She convinces an occult expert to help her perform A Dark Song, which is a ritual that will help her communicate with her lost son AND get revenge on those she holds responsible for his death.
The focus of this film is on the ritual itself. Unlike rituals you might have seen in other movies that last a matter of minutes the ritual itself lasts days and even into months. In order to pull this off, Sophia has rented an isolated cottage and she and the occultist have to stay there, alone, until the ritual is completed. In fact, they cannot leave the house until it is completed. This makes for an interesting story in which we see two people living in isolation with no escape. When things go wrong, and per the usual they do, the two only have each other to deal with, talk to, and work with. It makes for an interesting dynamic that leads to a totally unexpected ending that, in all honesty, you will either love or hate. But you probably won’t see it coming.
Overall, the movie is a fascinating look at human nature. We have two characters that are locked together. As the story progresses we learn more about each of them and their personal demons get revealed in the process. And it is a slow process. I don’t mean that to sound bad, but this movie is the ultimate slow-burn. It slowly goes from starting a ritual to the characters’ realistic reactions to their situations and, ultimately, to a better understanding of themselves and their motivations at the end (this is really specific to Sophia). The idea that this is a horror film is not really true. It’s a psychological drama with a paranormal situation that runs them through the ringer. This filming is done in a wonderful way that is never blurry or shaky. It’s all very smooth and crisp and allows you to go through these emotions along with our characters. The lighting and productions set the mood as well. Everything in this movie is basically the opposite of what you would expect in a modern horror yet it sets everything up perfectly in layers of revelation as it goes and leads to a moving end.
The 1080p blu-ray release of A Dark Song is exceedingly good. Being that this was a newer film and didn’t have to go through the cleanup and transfer process a lot of other Scream Factory releases did, that’s not too much of a surprise. The picture is extremely sharp to the point you can see fingerprints in smudges on glass and beads of sweat on people’s faces. The black tones are deep and flesh tones are very natural looking. It’s in 1080p High-Definition with a aspect at 2.40:1 and English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA that does a great job setting the tone. The dialog is very clean, there is absolutely no noise in the sound quality and music is balanced well so nothing overpowers the movie.
A Dark Song is a release from Scream Factory that fans of psychological and cerebral thriller fans are going to love. There’s not a bunch of gore, nudity, and foul language. Instead, what you get is a very intense view of broken people and how they react, in a realistic way, when thrusted into a supernatural situation they were not prepared to face (whether they thought they were or not) and, ultimately, a story of redemption of the spirit. It’s quite an interesting watch.
- Interviews With Director Liam Gavin, Actors Steve Oram And Catherine Walker, And Director Of Photography Cathal Watters
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
A Dark Song is available from Scream Factory on September 5th.