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  • Tyler Harlow

Out of Darkness

Cast: Sofia Oakley-Green, Kit Young, Chuku Modu, Iola Evans, Luna Mwezi, Arno Lüning

Director: Andrew Cumming

The hunters become the hunted as a family of six Stone Age explorers set out in search of new land. Led by Adem (Modu), their quest across rocky terrain soon becomes more perilous as they begin to feel the a mysterious presence hunting them. After Adem's son Heron (Mwezi) is taken by a creature that is following them, they must either work together to survive or fall victim to whatever evil is after them.

I'm not going to lie, I wasn't expecting much from this one. It was filmed during the pandemic and only now finding itself being released and is from a first time director. Being a February release, this usually means the studio is putting it out in theaters to get it off the books and get whatever money from it they can. It's never a good sign, especially with as little marketing as I have seen for it.

This ended up being a pleasant surprise. The cinematography for this Stone Age horror-thriller is absolutely gorgeous and the score is pulse-pounding, effectively adding to the tension the characters are feeling. The story is also very basic and primitive which honestly works in its favor. The story is basically "There's something chasing us and it took my son. Let's go get it." It doesn't feel out of place with how people from the Stone Age would have thought. You also have to applaud the movie for not only creating its own language but having the characters speak it the entire movie.

The movie also pulls no punches and is unafraid to kill off main characters. This helps with the tension because you feel like no one is safe. Its a bold strategy and it works wonders.

Unfortunately, while there is tension being created over who will survive, you won 't care. There is little to no time given to develop the characters before the terror begins. A lot of the deaths would have felt more impactful if you cared. I do appreciate the movie didn't want to overstay its welcome but a little more would have helped.

Also, the movie gives an answer to what is chasing them. and it's anti-climactic. I think the movie worked better when it was shrouded in mystery and darkness. It should have kept it this way. I understand the ultimate point its trying to make with the reveal but the movie lost a lot of its uniqueness with it.

It's still an impressive debut from Andrew Cumming that is filled to brim with suspense for about three-fourths of its run time. Its a shame it couldn't stick the landing but I am glad it got to be released in the first place.

Grade: B-


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