Out of the Dark follows a couple, Paul and Sarah Harriman (Schott Speedman and Julia Stiles) and their daughter, Hannah (Pixie Davies) on their move to Santa Clara to take over the Harriman family manufacturing paper mill, only to realise that their old mansion is plagued by the ghosts of young children.
Like most children, Hannah’s curiosity takes her to dark places she should not venture into. Out of the Dark revolves around the couple’s search for their missing daughter and their quest to discover the dark history haunting the village. Paul and Sarah’s frantic search for their lost daughter plunges them into a supernatural world, with a series of mysterious apparitions. In a way, the film does offer the audience a peek of the horrors and nightmares faced by a young couple and their child in an exotic, foreign village.
While many horror movie tropes were present, Out of the Dark was not psychologically impressive. The film’s premise is simple and makes several attempts at red herrings, which one may or may not fall prey to. Despite fielding Academy Award-nominated Stephen Rea and its crew, the Out of the Dark cast was scarcely compelling enough to bring out the plot. Of course, given that the plot itself was shy of arresting, it may be wishful thinking to have hoped for more.
The movie makes several contrived attempts at portraying the vengeance and vindication of young, spiteful spirits. It is a good attempt at implementing horror scares, yet verging on falling into clichéd territory. Out of the Dark lacks the subtleties and nuances of a horror movie and only brings to light a central plot that is neither memorable nor impressive.
Nonetheless, Out of the Dark is redeemed by its underlying themes of third world oppression, global responsibility, social awareness and most notably, parental love. I only wish that there was more character development and dynamics, if only to make up for its sketchy plot.
Watch the trailer here: