The Dark and the Wicked Review

A farmhouse shadowed in the late sun. Wiregrass strangling the perimeter. Homemade wind chimes rustling in the thin whistling air. A flock of still, silent sheep suddenly jump and kick as if startled by an imaginary foe. Darkness sets in, pitch black, like soot and ash resting where warmth once stood. There is a presence here, in the dark, in the night, and it weighs heavy on every soul unfortunate enough to call this place home.

Themes of loss and isolation hit different in a pandemic. Quarantined at home, our fellow man dropping like flies all around us, falling prey to an unseen force that is both fatal and unstoppable. Writer/director Bryan Bertino may have set his latest film The Dark and the Wicked in the same Texas town where he grew up, but in a year marked by plague and absence, it’s hard not to relate to two lonely young people descending into madness in a quiet cabin in the middle of nowhere, waiting for their father to finally pass, terrified that his affliction might come for them next.

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2020 Fantasia Film Festival Reviews dark and the wicked

Usually, the genre-heavy Fantasia International Film Festival is held annually in Montreal, but with things the way they are this year (terrible), the festival has gone virtual. This year, Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato are covering Fantasia for /Film, firing off dispatches featuring capsule reviews of the titles we’ve watched from the safety of our own homes, all while dreaming of poutine.

In this edition: the best film of the festival; a sleep study gone wrong; an Evil Dead doc; and more.

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