Friday, June 09, 2006
I saw Leif Jonker's Darkness the other night for the first time. I'd never seen the original version, so my first experience was with the new "Vampire Version" and I can't speak to any comparison.
I'm not entirely sure how to review the film I saw. It's very clearly the work of a very talented young man working with very limited resources, including actors, and a lot of energy. The energy comes through and it's fun to watch. As a resume piece, it would be excellent, the shots are beautifully considered and well-framed, the momentum is strong and the effects are remarkable.
As a movie of its own, it's a mild and pleasant, if incredibly violent, amusement and little more. I was very pleased with the I Am Legend styled vampires, quite possibly the only true cinematic representation of that style. For that I have to give it a lot of credit. If anything it needed to further explore that element, which the suggestion existed that a sequel was intended, so that is likely in his mind somewhere.
I'd say I was looking forward to Jonker getting a chance to direct a movie with a real budget - with some honesty - but I must say that the "trailer" for the "in development" Demon Hunter included here takes away more of that faith than it engenders. The trailer makes most of the low-budget movie mistakes that Darkness remarkably avoids.