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Review: Creature in the Dark (2020)

In A Quiet Place and Don’t Speak, making noise could be fatal. In Bird Box, seeing the creatures was to be avoided at all costs. Now, writer/director Jacob Perrett (Spine Chiller, Weird Fiction) envisions a world where you don’t want to leave the light on and the creature in the dark is real.

The sun has gone dark. It must still be providing heat because everyone hasn’t frozen to death, but it doesn’t provide light anymore. With this perpetual darkness came creatures that are attracted to light and very hungry. They, like the darkness, and a strange new disease spreading among the survivors, are never explained.

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The scattered survivors struggle to find food and defend themselves, both from the creatures and looters. One of those survivors is River Kern (Taylor Rhoades, 10/31 Part III) his wife Emma (Danielle Rhoades) was at work when eternal night set in and never returned. That left River to fend for himself and their infant daughter, Mya (Mya Rhoades).

This sounds like the makings of a nifty post-apocalyptic creature feature. It isn’t. Shot for $1,000 Creature in the Dark is mostly a one-man show with River wandering around his house and talking to himself while he takes care of Mya. There are occasional flashbacks to their lives before all this happened. But that mostly adds domestic drama, not action.

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When we do see the creature (Matt Nale) it certainly is creepy looking. And there are undercurrents of suspense, both from the threat of the creatures and other humans. But there’s not enough for them to be anything more than a sub-plot.

If you’re in the mood for a drama, Creature in the Dark is well written and acted. Rhoades does a good job of carrying just about the whole film alone. But with very little going on for much of the film’s running time, some viewers will become restless. Doubly so for anyone expecting a more traditional horror film.|

Currently, Creature in the Dark is looking for a distributor. Hopefully, it finds one that will promote it for what it is and let it find its audience. Because selling it as a horror film will get it a lot of unhappy viewers.

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