Friday, June 26, 2009

Edges of Darkness: A Movie Review

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Director: Jason Horton.

Writer: Jason Horton.

"Edges of Darkness" is a horror genre film, from director Jason Horton (Trap), that involves three separate character driven stories that center around an undead apocalypse with scripture from the book of revelations acting as a backdrop. Set in an overrun apartment complex the three stories are connected not only through location, but through a climactic ending. Unconventionally, a new group of actors are entered into the fray, at the films midpoint, as the unfocused premise attempts to tie up far too many plot devices late in the story.

The films central plot revolves around a religious end of the world involving several blood thirsty priests (Lee Perkins, Robert Kitchen) while several smaller plots look for attention in a quickly paced script. Fighting for survival in this murderous atmosphere are a small coven of vampires (Alonzo F. Jones) , a writer (Jay Costelo) in the midst of an alien invasion, and an unkillable child who is able to spout scripture at the drop of a hat. And this is only skimming the films second layer!

Several characters witness the zombie apocalypse from the comfort of their living rooms as the focus on interior shots means the production focuses on character driven dialogue while forgoing cinematography even in the films ending. The care spent on developing characterizations is what will draw most viewers in and this choice is an appropriate one for budgetary constraints. The writing fleshes out the wife's (Alisha Gaddis) disconnect from her frantically writing husband as the films claustrophobic feel rapidly intersplices snippets of a hungry and starving couple of vampires. Can the writing and characterizations, alone, hold the film together?

From a sheer entertainment factor the answer is yes; however, the sparseness of action sequences during the end of the world seems bizarre as the entry of even more characters and sub-plots near the middle of film adds to the absurdity of the story. Some of the only action driven scenes involve the familiar slow moving zombies who through force of numbers hope to infect those few remaining. The entry of Catholic priests who forget the phrase "do unto others as they would do to you" allow for a few further violent interactions as the world goes boom in a series of blood soaked apartments.

The director states "I kind of took the kitchen sink approach with it [Edges of Darkness]" and this can quickly be seen from an initial viewing as further showings show the films complexity. "Edges of Darkness" is being released through Shoreline Entertainment internationally and a DVD release date is forthcoming. For those interested a trailer can be found for the film below:

Individual characterizations/believability: 5.5
Plot/writing/premise: 6.5
Cinematography/photography: 4.5
Camera techniques/editing/continuity: 7.5

Overall: 6 Jaw Dropping Skulls out of 10.