The Darkness (2016)

darknessDirector: Greg McLean

Writer: Greg McLean, Shayne Armstrong, Shane Krause (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Morrison, Lucy Fry, Kevin Bason, Ming-Na Wen, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, Matt Walsh, Tara Lynne Barr


Plot: A family returns from a Grand Canyon vacation, haunted by an ancient supernatural entity they unknowingly awakened and engages them in a fight for their survival.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Good Horror


Story: The Darkness starts as we meet two families, the Taylor’s Peter (Bacon), Bronny (Mitchell), Michael (Mazouz) and Stephanie (Fry) as well as the Carter’s Joy (Morrison), Gary (Walsh) and Andrew (Mack) who are enjoying a barbeque in the desert by the Grand Canyon which has an ancient Native American city underneath.

Michael the youngster member of the family is different to most other children being autistic finds himself falling into the city but unaware to anybody else knowledge, when the Taylor family return home strange things start happening and Michael has a new imaginary friend Jennifer. Peter and Bronny have to figure out whether Michael is getting sicker and becoming dangerous or whether there is something outside their power going on within the house.

The Darkness is a horror movie that I can’t help but think feels like a re-immigration of Poltergeist mainly because it is about a house being haunted by Native American spirits which does include a portal. I do think this story does enough to make this stand out unique enough but sadly the part of the film that disappoints the most is that we do see a serious side of the story not tackled long enough. As for a horror story this is enjoyable enough for the horror fans and does try to escape the cliché moments we could have seen happen.


Actor Review


Kevin Bacon: Peter Taylor is a well-respected architect and loving father who is going through a few marriage issues even though he wants to work through them. When the family are find strange things happening around the house he wants a doctor but his wife wants a supernatural investigator leading to a clash between the two other what they want to believe. Peter is also being sent temptation from his boss to cheat on his wife which seems pointlessly added to the story we are watching unfold. Kevin does a good job but this could have been pulled off by anyone strong leading man.

Radha Mitchell: Bronny Taylor is the wife and mother of the family who has to stay at home to care for Michael while balancing her own job. She is an alcoholic but has been clean for years. She fills the studying what could be happening role needed in this film having to go through her fair share of hauntings. Radha is solid in this role but like Kevin we could have almost anyone in this role.

David Mazouz: Michael Taylor is the autistic son of the family who finds a strange collection of stones in an ancient Native American city. He starts communicating with these spirits becoming increasingly involved with the strange goes on inside the house. David is good for the young star of the film.

Lucy Fry: Stephanie Taylor is the daughter in the family, she comes off as your everyday high school student but we do see a darker side of her suffering from bulimia. She doesn’t get the attention that Michael does until this is discovered while be one of the more focal points of the attacks on the family. Lucy is good in this role where she is dealing with a serious condition.

Support Cast: The Darkness has a supporting cast you would expect to see in horror, we have the paranormal helpers, the friends and the previously dealt with the situation characters. They all do the job you expect from them without being too involved in the final outcome.

Director Review: Greg McLeanGreg brings us a ghost filled horror that all works very well to step away from horror clichés.


Horror: The Darkness has good horror elements happening throughout which mix up the suspense and up scares nicely.

Settings: The Darkness keeps nearly all of the films horror elements inside the house showing it is the house that is the cause to the problem.
Special Effects
: The Darkness uses the effects really well through to create the horror elements happening through the film.

Suggestion: The Darkness is one I do think all the horror fans will enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)


Best Part: Hand Prints

Worst Part: Not tackling the serious side of the story away from the horror enough.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Evil comes home


Overall: Enjoyable horror that works for the genre.





Opinion Battles Round 11Favourite Johnny Depp Roles

Opinion Battles Round 11Favourite Johnny Depp Roles

Johnny Depp has been working in Hollywood for over 3o years ever since we saw him get sucked into him bed in A Nightmare on Elm Street before starting off on a career of playing outside the box character with his relationship with director Tim Burton. Granted he has gone slightly off the rails recently but people still want to know what will out next from him.

If you want to take part in future rounds we will be looking at our Favourite Chris Evans roles. to take part in this round send your choices to by Sunday 12th June 2016.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Sam – Benny and Joonsam

Sam is the young man who is obsessed with Buster Keaton using his comic timing to get a reaction of the Joon who is struggling with her own mental health problems. Sam is one of the early roles from Depp which showed just how good a comedy Johnny is without any real experience in this style of comedy. With this role we get to see parts he went on to use in later years with his outings as Jack Sparrow having small elements of this character.

Kim – Tranquil Dreams

Jack Sparrowcaptain

I love Johnny Depp and he has played a ton of great characters.  I have to say, I debated Edward Scissorhands for this one but Jack Sparrow is just my favorite. This character makes me laugh a lot.  His expressions to his mannerisms are unbelievably awesome. Its a little silly but a lot of fun.  


Richard – The Humpo Show

Captain Jack Sparrowcaptain


I wanted to pick a different character as I feel everyone else is picking Jack, perhaps Tom Dillinger or James Bulger, but his role as Captain Jack is now his legacy. The swashbuckling hero is a firm favourite with me as I enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and though the series has been on a downward curve since the first film, I still enjoy watching the daring escapes, sword battles and his brilliantly funny lines that are quoted by every PotC fans. 


Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews

Ed Wood

 ed wood

Unfortunately, at this point in his career I have an easier time thinking about bad Johnny Depp performances than good, which is sad for such a talented actor. Films like Dark Shadows, the pirates sequels, and Alice in Wonderland really soured him for me and worst of all he became so predictable. I almost expect him to have white face paint and a cooky voice instead of a real character. 

Anyway, I have to go back to 1994 to find my favorite Johnny Depp performance and oddly enough it is from director Tim Burton who he has become so toxic to work with now. It is his biographical film Ed Wood. 

I have always liked movies about work- what drives us to work, how much we should sacrifice for work, what inspires us and what depresses us.  Ed Wood is at it’s core a movie about work.  Through school we are told to go after your dreams and then you will be happy.  Ed Wood takes this logic a step farther and asks ‘what if you go after your dream and you really suck at it?”.  Is competency in a dream a key factor in the value of said dream.  It’s tough to say but I think one look at Johnny Depp’s enthusiasm playing Ed Wood the answer is clear. Ed is gleefully happy making his horrible movies and there is something to that.  He doesn’t care what other people think to an almost delusional degree and there is something refreshing about that.  He does what makes him happy, which is very inspiring. 

The movie looks great and has wonderful supporting performances by Martin Landau (Oscar winner for part) and Sarah Jessica Parker.  Plus, it has Oscar winning makeup from Rick Baker. However, the movie rises on Johnny Depp’s wonderful portrayal of Ed Wood- a man who found his life work and he did it terribly with gusto! 


Cinema Parrot Disco

Edward Scissorhands


My favorite Johnny Depp character? Easy. Edward Scissorhands! No contest. I used to be a huge Johnny Depp fan, ever since his 21 Jump Street & Nightmare On Elm Street days. He was a heartthrob at that point but THEN he did Edward Scissorhands & he became so much more than just the hot guy on 21 Jump Street. He was so quirky & unique and teaming up with Tim Burton was the best thing he could’ve done for his career at that point. They were both at the top of their game then. It’s quite heartbreaking that I think they’ve both gone so downhill in recent years. I haven’t liked a Burton film in years and Johnny has, well, lost the plot a bit. Things like that dog fiasco in Australia haven’t helped but what the hell was up with Mortdecai?? I never watched that & have no intention of ever watching it but back in the 80s & 90s I wanted to watch everything that Johnny starred in. *sigh* Please come back to us, Johnny. I want my old Johnny Depp back! 

Edward Scissorhands is an all-time favorite movie of mine & he helped to bring one of cinema’s most memorable characters to life. Now when he does his “odd” Burton characters, it feels very forced and borderline creepy (I’m looking at you, Willy Wonka! *shudder*). But Edward Scissorhands was brilliant in every way and will forever remain my favorite Johnny Depp character. (But here’s a quick shoutout to Johnny in Benny & Joon and in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape! Two great roles in two great films that may possibly not get a mention from anyone else… )


Emma – Emma Explains It All

Mort – Secret Window


I doubt this will be winning any points but I had to go with my heart. Though the Stephen King Adaptation Secret Window isn’t anything hugely special, I absolutely love main character Mort – played by Johnny Depp.


He’s funny, he’s lazy. He’s in his dressing gown for a vast portion of the movie. He spends a lot of time eating crisps and smoking cigarettes (and even more time napping). He’s a legend! I also love Depp’s look in this movie – the hair and glasses really suit him.


Even when towards the end of the movie (spoilers) we find out that Mort is perhaps a little psychopathic and maybe even a murderer…..he’s still likable. Yay Mort!


Daniel – A Tale of Two Dans

Whitey Bulger – Black Mass


Johnny Depp has been fantastic in a variety of roles including the likes of Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands. But his role in Black Mass stands out to me just because it had been so long since he had put in a really convincing performance. He was crazy and really bought into the role of Whitey Bulger, one of the most notorious gangsters in American history. He not only transformed physically but also emotionally and he fully embraced the spirit of the character. It might just be one of his best performances ever. 


Rob – Movie Rob

J.M. Barrie – Finding Neverlandjm barrie

I know that most people are gonna pick either Edward Scissorhands or Pirates of the Caribbean, but being that I’ve never seen most of the Pirates movies (besides the first which I wasn’t the biggest fan of) and I’m not a fan of Edward Scissorhands (Don’t cut me!!), I decided to go with one of Depp’s more serious roles.


Besides his two small roles in the Original Nightmare on Elm Street and Platoon (yay Lerner!), Depp has done some great dramatic work.


I know I won’t get any points with this choice, but I have decided to go with my heart this year.


My favorite is his portrayal of JM Barrie, the author and creator of Peter Pan in Finding Neverland.


Depp has been nominated for an Oscar 3 times and I believe that his role in Finding Neverland was his best work ever (so far) because he was able to give an emotional performance in a heavy drama and not get lost in it like many comedic actors do.


S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason

Captain Jack Sparrow


For me, this choice was the most obvious so far. Johnny Depp is Captain Jack Sparrow, the role that earned him his first Best Actor Oscar nomination. Depp has always been drawn to strange and eccentric characters, sometimes ruining them in the process (Willy Wonka, Barnabas Collins), but no role utilizes his strange behavior so likably as that of the Black Pearl’s ever-resourceful captain. Of course, Depp looks the part with braids and bandana and jewelry galore, but his swagger and drunken charisma creates a truly memorable character, at once smarmy and oddly charming. Captain Jack’s quirks, his verbal gymnastics, and his apparently selfish and cowardly pirate mentality also hide a good heart (way deep down) and a surprising cunning that usually puts him two steps ahead of his foes. As one character in At World’s End asks, “Do you think he plans it all out or just makes it up as he goes along?” I don’t know, but either way, Depp sells it brilliantly.


J – Film & Nuance

Jack Sparrow


When I was a young kid, I was totally transfixed with Johnny Depp’s super eccentric take on his pirate role. Quirky, oddball, witty, smug, clumsy and yet clever, Jack Sparrow carries an undeniable air of wonder and charm. It is something that will always harken back my childhood memories of imagining myself as Jack Sparrow himself, wriggling and worming my way out of whatever obstacle thrown into my path. It’s a shame that I haven’t seen most of his films which include the more controlled performance in Secret Window…and a sympathetic one in Edward Scissorhands. Although I haven’t seen Scissorhands, I’d reckon that’s probably his best role. But since I can only derive from what I have seen, Depp’s Jack Sparrow is no mean feat.


Drew – Drew’s Movie Reviews

Captain Jack Sparrow

As eclectic as Johnny Depp’s roles have been, he doesn’t seem to fit into any as well as he fits into Captain Jack Sparrow.  Sparrow is Depp’s most iconic character, having already done four Pirates of the Caribbean films with a fifth on the way.  Even Depp knows this since he always has his Captain Sparrow costume on him all the time when he visits children hospitals.  Besides being one of Depp’s best characters, he is one of my favorite adventure movie characters as well.  There is a lot more to him than he lets on.  You can’t help but wonder if he is very smart or very lucky with how often his crazy plans seem to work out.  He tries to act tough and isolated from those around him but he has a strong moral code, often putting others before himself.  That’s not very pirate like, Captain Sparrow.