Tuesday 29 March 2016

"Dark Vale" - Film Review

Director Jason MJ Brown recently got in touch to tell us about his new film “Dark Vale”, which is currently being submitted to the  various festival circuits, and he very kindly offered me the chance to review it.

The film primarily revolves around a young couple, Tom and Leah, who are having a romantic weekend break away in the countryside, when they get an urgent phone call about Leah’s mother being taken into hospital.

Forced to cut their holiday short, things go awry when their sat-nav takes them through a little known short cut, known locally as the Vale, and they encounter a mysterious fog bank, at which point their car cuts out and find themselves stranded.

Wandering off in search of help, they subsequently find themselves trapped in some sort of ghostly netherworld (with remarkably well maintained roads and hedges) and pursued by some vengeful spirit called Lady Lucy. Taking shelter in a decrepit old mansion (which again, actually looks quite well maintained, with neatly trimmed bushes and freshly cut lawns), the two have to find a way back out of the vale whilst dodging ghostly apparitions.
Kind of similar to the directors last film, "A Date with Ghosts", which also featured a couple trapped in unfamiliar territory, being pursued by unfriendly spirits (you can read my review of that HERE). The film does its best with the resources available, being a low budget indie film. But lets just say, it isn’t exactly “Silent Hill”.

The director has clearly learned a lot since his previous movie and from a technical viewpoint is competently shot (though the mismatched sound between shots is somewhat distracting as it appears they used the on-set sound, rather than dub)
But the main problem is the films disjointed plot, which seems to leap forward, then keeps going into flashbacks and has a number of tenuously connected sub-plots, which don’t really have any bearing on the main story. Plus, the majority of the film is just showing the lead character traipsing round the countryside looking for a way out of the vale, which isn’t really all that interesting (think "Blair Witch", but its not a 'found footage' style film).

Anyway, the film is currently being submitted to various horror festivals, and has already been selected for showing at the LA cinefest. So if you get the chance, check it out and see what you make of it.

View the trailer on YouTube

Visit the director's Twitter Page 

Visit the film's Facebook Page


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