Poltergeist meets Carrie meets Monty Python…
This is a film I went into blind, knowing, perhaps, too little about what I was about to watch. But doing it like this has helped many times in the past, as I begin to watch them with absolutely no expectation. Imagine the surprise when I saw other critics were shouting its praises, but that’s nothing new. It certainly started off rather impressively, setting up the usual, expected, introductory material we tend to get for standard scare-fare, but then the outlandish and bizarre, reared its ugly head for the final act. In reality, it started to go downhill after the first, and the middle act just got my B.S. detector clanging away like crazy, which obviously didn’t bode well for the home-straight.
As far as acting went, I have nothing but admiration for most of the performers, particularly the promising first-timer, Miss Missy Keating (daughter of, he-who-sings, Keating), but the character-actions, penned by writer/director of Dark Touch, Marina de Van, went beyond plausible after a while, making the whole project hard to swallow. With an estimated $3 million to spend, the effects were still managed respectably enough, but the writing just didn’t do a thing for me, or this movie. Sure, it had a wonderful premise, but that has to be followed up with something that we can get into; something we can convince ourselves is, or can be real.
I actually saw the impressive In My Skin by Marina de Van, almost 10 years-ago, but this film showed nothing of the same class from her, that I would have expected, but it just showed that this type of horror wasn’t where her strengths lay, and should be avoided in future. There was a lot to like about Dark Touch, and I admire any filmmaker who will try something a little (or a lot), outside-the-box, and even though the attempts don’t quite work a lot of the time, you still get to discover new things about their technique.
This is far from a failure, and did entertain, but I mostly tsk tsked my way through too much of the final third, to really enjoy myself enough. I was impressed by the handling of the effects. I was very impressed by the acting. I was not impressed by the direction, and disappointed by the writing. The story itself is about an abused young girl known as Niamh (pronounced Neve, for you non-Gaelic types), who loses her parents under highly suspicious circumstances. She is taken-in by friends of the family, but soon household objects move around by themselves, assaulting anyone who is, or looks like a child abuser (and was where we caught some very bad writing), but after some bizarre actions, Carrie/Paranormal/Poltergeist Activity, activity, things get out of control.
I don’t really want to spoil anything for anyone, with too much premise, because where this film had anything going for it, was when things kinda flipped over, with a nice surprise, but sadly, for me at least, it was too little too late. It’s worth seeing once as a curiosity piece, but beyond that, don’t do anything crazy to see Dark Touch, but it does have its appeal, I suppose. Just not for me.
Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer
Visit, and “like” us on Facebook