Spoiler-Free Review: “Dark My Light” (Fantaspoa 2024)

April 19, 2024

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at josephperry@gmail.com. He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

A serial killer who murders on the beach is running amok in an otherwise quiet coastal town, but that’s not the strangest thing going on in writer/director Neal Dhand’s science fiction thriller Dark My Light (2023). Detective Mitchell Morse (Albert Jones) seems to be losing his grip on reality, and that could lead to even more mayhem.

Morse is assigned to the case with new partner Dreyfus Trier (Tom Lipinski), who has returned to his home town from the big city after a controversial incident on the force there. Morse is also going through a separation with his wife Emily (Keesha Sharp). He has a lot on his mind, which seems to be overloading.

To give away more of the plot than the above would be doing a disservice to Dark My Light because it deals in mystery. I found myself wondering exactly what was happening once Dhand laid out some of the first puzzle pieces, then I started trying to piece things together. The film held my attention throughout, as I found Morse’s unraveling and its effects on those close to him a satisfying journey.

The three main leads all give fantastic performances, with Jones outstanding as a highly troubled man in both his personal and professional lives. The members of the sizable supporting cast also turn in solid work. Charles Ackley Anderson’s cinematography splendidly captures the beautiful beach town setting and the ugliness that it holds.

I recommend going in cold to Dark My Light, as I did, as once things begin making a semblance of sense, viewers should still find themselves guessing as to what might happen next. You may have a hunch early on as to the conclusion, but the ride getting there is still a weird and intriguing one.

Dark My Light screened as part of Fantaspoa 2024, which takes place April 11–28 in Porto Allegre, Brazil.


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