Director Mickey Keating is a rising star in the indie horror arena, turning in fantastic films like Ritual, Pod, and the 2016 survival thriller Carnage Park. His most recent film Psychopaths has firmly cemented him in the arena of filmmakers to watch.
However, there has been little love and even less discussion of his Darling.
Shot in stark black and white, the film is Keating’s homage to the claustrophobic and paranoid Polanski film Repulsion. Nearly the entire film takes place in a single New York apartment, and the movie places the viewer inside the subjective viewpoint of the clearly troubled protagonist. The film teases what is real and unreal, going one step further than Repulsion by adding a possible supernatural wrinkle to the proceedings.
Lead actress Lauren Ashley Carter is in almost every frame of the movie, and she is more than up for the hairpin emotional turns this performance offers her. For such a young actress, she is a veteran of the genre, having appeared previously in The Woman, Jug Face, and The Mind’s Eye; she also worked with Keating a year earlier in Pod.
With a deliberate pace and some unanswered questions, Darling may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But for the horror fan who loves a good slow burn, some fantastic cinematography, and a sample of the great things to come from both actress Carter and director Keating, it’s well worth your time.