In Darkness (2008) – By Duane L. Martin

 In Darkness isn’t the first Steven Cerritos film I’ve reviewed.  A while back I reviewed a film of his called Cerritosis, which I always thought sounded more like some bad breath disease than a film, but there you go.  Cerritosis, much like this film, was definitely a visual feast for the eyes, however it lacked story or anything resembling a coherent plot.  This film however, is a much different beast.

In Darkness isn’t a normal film.  Steven Cerritos calls it a visual poem, and that’s exactly what it is.  It has this narrative of a really deep and infinitely dark poem throughout the film, combined with visuals that I would have to say are probably the most stunning visual experience I’ve ever had in watching an independent film.

I have to be honest.  I went into this film expecting it to be like the first one – a nice looking film with nothing to really hold my attention story-wise, and to be brutally honest, I expected it to be boring.  I’m happy to say however that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Something else I have to be honest about.  I only partially understood the poem, and I didn’t have time to watch the film more than once to really understand it in depth.  What I did understand however was really dark and awesome, and the visuals only made it more so.  It was almost like something Poe would have written.  A dark and sinister tale of lost love, torment, darkness, suffering, etc…  Yes, it was very Poe like indeed.

The performances in the film were quite well done as well.  Each person delivering their dialogue as a continuation of the dialogue of the poem, which gave it more if a feeling of a poetic play rather than just a straight up poem.  The lines were delivered really well by the cast, and there was even some cool dialogue in a demon language that was subtitled that was not only surprising to hear, but really, really well done, and the acting was very dramatic and perfectly fit the style of the film.

While most art films end up being stupid and highly boring, this one broke out of that mold and definitely has the ability to hold your interest and attention from start to finish.  While it may take a few watchings to really catch the full story and the meaning behind it, that shouldn’t be a problem for most people since this is the kind of a film that will actually make you want to watch it multiple times.

If you’d like to find out more about this film you can check out the Entity Films website here, MySpace page here and you can actually view the entire film online here.