Blu-ray Review: The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995)

March 14, 2020

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, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

A down-home gal who goes by Callie (Ashley Judd) takes in a confused, injured young dude with the unlikely name of Darkly Noon (Brendan Fraser). Well, seems our boy Darkly used to be a member of one of those batshit religious cults that the feds went Waco on.

Anyway, Callie’s mute boyfriend Clay (Viggo Mortensen) comes into the scene and things begin to sour… and that trend only continues as Darkly meets Clay’s mama Roxy (Grace Zabriskie) who tells him his new “friends” aren’t who they appear to be… it involves witches and bullshit that she weaves together into a big ol’ lie tapestry for our rattled protagonist. What will obtaining this info hold for Darkly?

I’ll sum it up for you; he goes completely off the deepest of deep fuckin’ ends.

Existing in a bizarre world just a step left of our own, The Passion of Darkly Noon is a hell of a fever-dream thriller! Characters are either completely natural, or totally over-the-top, the image is often comprised of bright as balls natural lighting, there may actually be a witch… this is one surreal flick that plays out almost like a dark fairy tale of sorts with it’s heavily wooded exteriors and talk of witches.

But as weird as the picture is, it’s cast is comprised of some real (at the time up-and-coming) acting talent; Brendan Fraser (giving a performance that effectively ranges to charming naivety to complete raging psycho), Ashley Judd, and Viggo Mortensen (in an emotional performance where he utters not a single word)… all give rock solid performances and make everything their characters experience believable, no matter how off-the-rails things get.

As for extras on this Blu-ray release from Arrow Video we get: a brand new audio commentary by the film’s director Philip Ridley, a new interview with the flick’s composer Nick Bicat and editor Leslie Healey, as well as an archival interview with Ridley, Bicat and Mortensen, and the film’s soundtrack on an isolated track. Also included is a collector’s booklet with new writing from film critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas.

Dark, at times eerie, at-times strange, and completely unique; The Passion of Darkly Noon is a can’t miss flick for lovers of one-of-a-kind thrillers!





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