Darkness Reigns begins at with the world Premier of Darkness Reigns (meta as fuck, yo!), at which the film’s sad sack Director seems incredibly reticent to talk about it. We then switch to some found footage style behind-the-scenes of the film within the film’s creation which eventually leads to cast and crew taking up residence in a haunted hotel (different from a horror hotel…much less necking with ghouls), and folks become used and abused by a demonic force that goes apeshit on ’em six ways to Sunday…and may have ties to someone on the crew! Also Casper Van Dien shows up and plays himself…also meta A.F (and seriously, this dude doesn’t age, which may be a paranormal event in and of itself).
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Darkness Reigns. The found footage aspect was handled incredibly well, the characters were actually fun to watch (including a game performance from the aforementioned Van Dien) with a very noticeable lack of the annoying pricks you are usually forced to spend time with in these affairs. But as we all know, we don’t watch these types of flicks to see people chit chat…we watch to see just how much ghostly goings-on we will actually see…which usually amounts to less than zero. Well, such is not the case here my fiends as we are treated to an ever escalating series of truly impressive effects set pieces that manage to deftly blend CG and practical work to create a ghoulish good time that left a rictus grin plastered across my putrid puss!
On the negative side of things, it takes a bit too long for things to get cookin’ in the supernatural spills n’ chills department (over a half hour passes before anything major happens, and this film runs under an hour and twenty minutes). There’s plenty of talk of the paranormal…but talk only goes so far…especially when the demons start a demoning it’s damn impressive as stated above.
So there you have it; Darkness Reigns is an effective use of both demonic fright flick and found footage tropes packed to the rafters with solid and fun effects and better than average acting…a good time in the ol’ horror biz if ya ask your’s cruelly!
For more on Darkness Reigns from Horror Fuel head here!