A young couple has just moved into a new apartment but soon things start to unravel with the appearance of a peeping tom whose voyalistic escapades may very well tear them apart in Dom Portalla’s 2010 horror masterpiece “The Darkness Within”.
Looking back “The Darkness Within” is easily my favorite indie film of 2010, a low budget horror/thriller that would end up completely blowing me away. One of the best things about this film is the fact it was made on such a tiny budget, without flashy special effects and eye candy to distract their viewing audience they were forced to write a solid and continuously impressive script like in the old days of filmmaking. With creative editing and a stellar script Dom Portalla is able to create a very Hitchcock feeling movie that focuses on storytelling and character development of a small cast.
“The Darkness Within” is almost three movies in one, you get romance, comedy, and terror all rolled up into a neat little package of pure enjoyment. The relationship between Chad (Jimmy Scanlon) and Ashley (Michelle Romano) is spot on with realism, which is very key when it comes to the success of the way this film plays out over time. Dom Portalla does an incredible job at recreating what it is like as a young couple moving into a small cramped space and the real life problems that arise. This makes their personas all the more believable and less like make believe characters created by a writer.
The same goes for the relationship between my two favorite characters in the film, the pot smoking punk rock landlord Jordan Shelby (Stephanie Maheu) and her stoner friend sometimes roommate Dixon Rampart (Sean Pierce), the comedic relief from the despair created by “The Darkness Within”. I know these two, I grew up with them and hung out with them in high school and still see them time to time, no not the actors but their types these are my people. Videogames and smoke filled rooms, these characters are a very accurate portrayal of an entire generation of slackers and angst ridden self proclaimed revolutionists.
The downward spiral effect this movie produces as you sit back and watch Chad’s picture perfect life turn into a never ending journey to rock bottom always takes me back to the era of classic Hitchcock with a ending that only future fuels the constant vibe that you are watching a movie that one day will be considered a hidden gem and cult classic. Ending wise “The Darkness Within” will leave you speechless and for a few moments as the credits are rolling you will start to look back at certain scenes of the film in the back of your mind and slowly but surely everything will add up and you will realize that you have just experienced story telling at its finest.
Take a break from the mainstream Hollywood train and let this unique and fascinating indie film give you a ride worthy of admission, I highly recommend that “The Darkness Within” becomes a part of your movie collection.