The Dark and the Wicked (2020) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Dark and the Wicked (2020) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on January 24th, 2021 | Movie Review | Slow Burn, Supernatural, Psychological

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It's about a family who comes together to visit their dying patriarch when all hell breaks loose, literally.

The Dark and the Wicked was directed by Bryan Bertino (who also directed The MonsterMockingbird and The Strangers) and stars Marin Ireland (from The Empty Man and Piercing), Xander Berkeley (from Within The RockDeadly Dreams and Candyman) and Tom Nowicki (from Burning Bright).

She told you not to come.

The Dark and The Wicked Review

The Dark and the Wicked is a supernatural slow burn horror about a couple of adult children who travel home to visit their dying dad, very against their moms wishes. She doesn't want her kids anywhere near him. The meat of this movie is to explain why.

It's very similar to The Wind because it's also a supernatural slow burn that takes place out in the middle of nowhere. The Wind creates uncertainty around every character. At first you don't know if what they believe to be true is actually true and later don't know if everyone is who they say they are. The supernatural entity can take the form of people making it hard to know who to trust. The Dark and the Wicked basically took this same exact concept and created a more fleshed-out movie around it.

There's not much to the plot really. You have a couple of old people living on an old ranch with a couple of helpers coming in and out and a couple of adult children overstaying their welcome. Evil supernatural events start to happen and everyone just needs to figure out how to survive. Getting into things any deeper would venture into spoiler territory so it's best to go into this one as blind as possible.

I had high hopes going into this one. A couple of reviewers I follow talked about how it was one of the scariest movies they had seen in a long time, which is saying something considering how many horror movies they watch. Anyone who watches at least a couple a week can surely relate to the desensitization that develops. I personally watch a horror movie nearly every day and became desensitized to fear and shock a long time ago. I feel like a drug addict chasing that elusive high sometimes. So when I heard that a couple fellow horror junkies found a fix I was sold.

The Dark and the Wicked was a good horror movie, but not as scary as hoped, for two main reasons. One, it followed the same format as Hereditary which has now become so common it's nearing cliche status (constant slow burn tension and screechy violins). Two, it used too many cheap jump scares and cheesy special effects. It also felt like the ending was rushed, like there was still 15 mins of film lying around somewhere. But again, it was a good horror. Maybe I just went in with my expectations too high.

Worth Watching?

Definitely. It might not have been the fix I was hoping for but it was undoubtedly a solid horror movie that packs a punch and has a few really cool scenes that stick with you long after the ending credits roll. This and The Wind would make a good double feature.

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