Movie Review: Dark Sister (2018)

May 4, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Cassie (Amanda Woodhams) is an artist havin’ a rough go of things. You see, our heroine is plagued with dreams of the murder biz, which she works through with the help of her shrink (Nicola Bartlett) and by creating violent tableaus on her canvas.

Of course this being a fright flick and all, those violent visions end up spilling over into Cassie’s wakey-wakey world and those close to her start going tits up, forcing C-dawg to confront her troubled past and use her visions to try and stop the killer before they cause any more horror!

Simply put, Writer/Director Sam Barrett (along with Co-Writer Robbie Studsor) has created one of the best giallos to not come from the golden age of the genre…or even Italy (more on that in a tick).!

Comprised of a solid murder mystery, fever-dream logic and imagery (appropriate given the emphasis on nightmares in the narrative), absolutely gorgeous lighting (shout out to Cinematographer/Editor Ivan Davidov for doing a hero’s work here) featuring a deft usage of gels that would make Bava senior and Argento say “Damn, son!”…or “Dannato, figlio!” would be more accurate…Dark Sister will often have you forgetting that you are not watching a classic giallo…until you hear those Australian accents…and that is a beautiful thing indeed!

Adding to the arcane aesthetic is a fantastic score courtesy of Christopher de Groot that perfectly matches the surreal action slashin’ and flashin’ across the screen!

Speaking of de Groot, Wild Eye Releasing (under their Wild Eye Select label) have included a great audio commentary track featuring the Composer as well as Barrett that details the film’s (which they refer to under it’s original title of Sororal) production in highly listenable fashion. A selection of trailers is also featured.

If you love Italian fright flicks, and constantly pine on how “They sure don’t make ’em like that anymore!”, then feast your eerie eyeballs on Dark Sister; it’s a psychotronic, color saturated, nightmare ride that will doubtless satisfy horror hounds looking for their giallo fix!

 

 

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