Michael and Shawn Rasmussen, noted for their work on John Carpenter’s The Ward (2010), and now the Inhabitants (2014) created their first dual written and directed horror vehicle, known as Dark Feed, set in an abandoned Boston Lunatic Asylum, with a horror film crew working on an independent ultra low budgeted film, in other words a film within film. This is not the first time the storyline found itself into a horror film, some may recall it from Scream 3 (2000) or even harkened back to Return to Horror High (1987), which starred George Clooney, the methodically finds itself creative and an interesting back-story to the movie.
The asylum’s history is not part of the storyline of the film within the filmed, nor is it explained properly for the audience, a place that had cruel exterminations on the forgotten patients and many evil rumors, and in the black ooze leaking out the floors and walls, affecting everyone in the negative. This sounds eerily like a combination of both House on Haunted Hill (1999) and Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007), the brief reconciliation of this goo and effects hints to conspiracies involving the government. Meanwhile on the set, sits newcomer screenwriter Chris (Andrew Rudick) for his first horror film, and treated with contempt and third wheel by many of the crew and producer, but serves as the viewer’s vehicle for the tour guide of the facility and meeting crew and cast members. Some, fans will note Andrew as the hitchhiker character in the acclaimed short film, Mute from writer Stephen King. The Rasmussen brings some balance with paranormal and slasher genre overlook the hospital and the history of it for layering the thrills and chills, using the location to speak volumes and works ten times better than filler dialogue. Their cast, with Rachel (Rebecca Whitehurst) portraying one as empty headed, ditzy (usually means very smart on the inside) fulfills a scene of terror and volumes of sinister intentions, in an elevator something misses the mark, whether from the angle or later in post-production’s editing mode, of forcing the scene than building the suspense. Meanwhile the entire cast and crew begin losing their minds to the black goo’s sinister influence and start removing themselves and each other of the production’s payroll. There’s a bit of gore coming from a hand into blender and cutting out silicone breast implants, with both sounding and imagining quite gory, but for some unknown reasons the scenes fall apart, from cutaway shots and just ignoring the blood and guts scenes.
The letdowns of the film occur often, and exposes themselves as amateurish at times, the lines by the actors delivered in a sluggish manner, the infliction of terror, barely has a pulse, and the continuity errors that horror fans have come to accept find themselves glaring too much to comprehend for the entirety of the movie. The most pointed out and glaring error, involves Chris and a production assistant, concerning union rules and moving a heavy box, everyone knows, that on a ultra low budget film, everyone helps each other, and no unions exist, the costs, the hours would exceed the budget by lunchtime, therefore this banter becomes a laughable moment. Then add in the Halloween plastic props, scant special effects room, and so-called building fancy dressing rooms, the last one rarely occurs on the lowest horror films, and if a big star then the local hotel or RV serves for the bedding, another oops in the film, no noted film star. The film Cut (2000) had Molly Ringwald, who played to central plot but also serve with attention gathering for the movie, or Animal (2014) which Drew Barrymore’s name as executive producer projected the film further, none of the that exists in the murky script and stiff scenes, that hindered the actors talents.
The advertising for the film, plastered with “from the writers of John Carpenter’s The Ward” to cash on Carpenter’s name, and a nice gimmick, and the actual film lacks from his tension building skills, and editing tightness for a horror fans to thoroughly enjoy. A redeeming quality comes from the finale with the chase scenes, which ultimately ends production of the onset film, and concludes this film too from Lionsgate.