Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'From the Dark' (2014)
How many things can a woman trip over?: The Movie
So they try to play coy with the movie description in Netflix but you'd be daft if you don't figure it out pretty much immediately. Some farmer guy is digging about in the peat and finds some random wooden stake buried deep in the ground, then discovers it was embedded inside a wooden box. That's right... MOTHER FUCKING VAMPIRES! And not the pussy sparkling vampires or those sexy alluring vampires. These are some nasty classic vampires THAT WILL EAT YOUR MOTHER FUCKING FACE!!! Well, bite your neck, but you get my meaning.
It's really nice to go back to the classic animalistic Nosferatu style vampires like the original from the movie of the same name, or like Salem's Lot. No regret towards killing the ones they love, no hang ups about their former mortal life, no humanity. Once the vampire infection gets in you, it takes over and you become a monster.
Thank fucking god! If it wasn't for vampires like this and like from The Strain, I'd have given up on the genre entirely. It's okay that some tried to play around with the concept a little (and not okay that some others basically ruined it. Seriously, fucking sparkling vampires?) but you can really only tell that story once and once you've told it, it just gets boring after that.
They did add kind of an interesting Pitch Black-esque change to the vampires in question. They're hurt by light, any kind of light. Not just sunlight but even the light from a match can hurt them. Then there's also the fact that their bite was highly infectious like the From Dusk Till Dawn vampires. There's this one scene where the lead female gets bit on the ring finger and opts to cut her finger off.
Now this scene was fucking balls, but I don't know, they didn't really drag out the proper reaction. I really needed a solid "on the verge of shock, reeling from agony, I just clipped my finger off with a dull chisel" reaction. I'm not saying it was bad acting but it really just fell short of the build up to the moment where she cuts the finger off. She did a much better job when she impales her foot on a wooden stake. That time she really sells the "near shock" agony.
Speaking of putting her foot where it shouldn't belong, the movie does kind of over use the whole "Woman Trips and Falls Down" trope. I mean, they make her one bad ass female protagonist. She comes out on the other side looking much like John MccLane at the end. But seriously, they were constantly driving the plot and the suspense by having her put her foot through random things throughout the movie. It's almost like a fucking running gag. She puts her foot through the runs of some stairs and gets grabbed by the vampire. She puts her foot through a log in the woods and gets stuck. She puts her foot in a puddle and falls over. She steps on aforementioned wooden stake.
Speaking of that dumb wooden stake stuck in her foot, it's basically Deus Ex Machina. If you couldn't figure it out by now, it's the same stake the farmer pulled out of the vampire to wake it up and she manages to yank it out of her foot just in time to stick it back in the fucker.
Seriously? We're having the female lead being saved by "The Female Falls Down" trope? We're going with that? That's how we're going to end this? Alright... fuck it. I guess no movie's perfect.
But overall it was still pretty damn good. Apart from the fact it had some classic vampire action, it was actually a solid movie. The acting was good even by Hollywood standards, the atmosphere had soul crushing darkness, the plot was straight forward and the premise easy to follow. The characters were even relatable. I'd watch this again even and I highly recommend it.