……….. In some families, the monsters live within………….
Without spoiling, I review, Miller Datri Pictures’ ‘Come, Said The Night‘ (also called ‘Between The Darkness‘), a 1h 36m long unique coming-of-age horror movie directed and written by Andres Rovira, coming to streaming platforms on August 20th 2019, the film stars award-winning Lew Temple (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Walking Dead) and Danielle Harris (Halloween). Also starring Nicole Moorea Sherman, Tate Birchmore , Max Page , Daniela Leon, Maya Nalli , Christine Andelfinger, Christopher Watson & Angel Seañez . Also featured in Film festivals- Cinequest Film Festival & Dances With Films.
Thirteen-year-old Sprout Grady grows convinced that a monster is haunting the nearby woods. Embarking on a mission to vanquish it, she uncovers horrifying secrets that rock the core of everything she thought she knew.
Spoiler Free Review:
It’s dark, there’s heavy breathing and our teenage protagonist wakes up from sleep while being full of fear & shock. That’s how the film starts and the series of surprises and shocking revelations never seem to stop.
The film is a horror thriller about family dynamics of a single father Roy Grady raising children in an isolated environment with the help of Greek mythology but troubles start during their stay at the family sanctuary as a dark Greek creature- Gorgon- starts appearing in the night and soon, the moral dilemma of sexual repression affects the family forever. The film is a fantastic story about the less explored dimensions in the horror genre.
Now, after the demise of the elder sister and being without mother since childhood, our protagonist Sprout Grady is with her father and younger brother. We see the beautiful relationship of a single father who plays with them and teaches them many things of life through Greek Gods but tries to protect them from sexuality or “outer world”.
The sleep paralysis, trauma of sister’s loss seem to haunt Sprout when things get worse and she starts seeing Gorgon (Gorgon in Greek mythology, each of three sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, with snakes for hair, who had the power to turn anyone who looked at them to stone. Medusa was killed by Perseus, and the winged horse Pegasus is said to have sprung from her blood. Thus, Percy in this movie is named after Perseus). She decides to fight the creature herself when father doesn’t believe her. Visiting the family is the lady ranger and her son, who tries to make the family feel loved and comfortable. The secrets slowly get revealed about the creature, family’s dark past and we see a fight that makes our teenage leading lady be a brave fighter in the fight against the darkness that grasps her family.
Sexual repression & isolation is an important theme here as Roy Grady tries to keep the daughter pure and refuses to see her grown up. That’s why he disallows her to talk to boys and keeps her isolated in her own world. She tries to reason with him but he wouldn’t let her be like “other” girls, whom he considers spoiled. I think this aspect is something many parents can relate to, who struggle to cope with the changing behavior of their teenage children who are maturing into adults. The forced celibacy and extreme sexual repression is an issue that is being explored. Roy tries to keep his sexual urges under control too, since he’s a widower and according to his Greek religious belief, he’s not supposed to feel or entertain any sexuality. This movie tells us the importance of living in a community and giving the children freedom in their teenage years in order to have them explore their sexual identity. Also, not to take things to the extreme no matter what happens as human life is above any ideology.
The film’s trailer makes the movie feel like it’s only about sex, religion or monsters but it’s not. The mature theme is present throughout but there are some funny, innocent and beautiful scenes too. The movie doesn’t use a lot of gore or violence but a very less blood, which helps it to be precise and not be a mindless slasher horror. With only one fully clothed sex scene, one odd back nudity scene, minimal violence and no bad language, it’s a movie that should be watched by the current and future parents, besides horror fans, to know about children’s needs when growing up and side effects of extreme behavior.
The entire cast and crew has done a perfect job. Every character is played by the cast well despite the difficult nature of portraying each character. Lew Temple as Roy Grady has delivered a powerful performance of a religious, caring and protective father who’s struggling to keep his family together & maintain his faith. Danielle Harris as Ranger Stella Woodhouse provides much needed break from the twisted and disturbing atmosphere of the Grady family with her mature performance as a family friend. Nicole Moorea Sherman as Sprout Grady shines as a strong female lead and her performance shows all the emotions of fear, anger, happiness perfectly for her character. Tate Birchmore as her younger brother, Percy, gives some innocent and brave performance. Max Page as Ranger’s son has less screen time but the scenes involving him felt natural and effective for the story. Daniela Leon as Magda Grady, the eldest daughter, has a mysterious yet charming role. Christine Andelfinger as Gorgon has a terrifying movement and body language. Cameos by three characters are refreshing and help lift up the mood of the movie, they are- Maya Nalli as the driver, Angel Seañez as Angel and Christopher Watson as Slim Watts.
The direction is artistic and the writing has made it like a novel. Production value is superb, with the locations and picture quality being of good quality. The music is atmospheric and creepy. The pacing may feel a bit slow at the start but movie picks up real quickly and you won’t feel bored due to the Gorgon sequences in between.
Overall, the movie keeps you engaged and interested as you learn about its characters and the secrets of the world. Horror is at multiple levels but we see the psychological horror take a dominant role as the tension and suspense slowly build up during the film and it keeps increasing till the end. There’s terror of the unknown dark creature, which is complimented by the horror of the isolation and the beautiful exploration of human nature. This is a must watch horror movie because of the uniqueness of the subject explored as well as the message about raising children. With the stellar performances by the cast, beautiful visuals and eerie music, this is a treat for any horror fan looking for something unique, surprising and innovative rather than the usual clones of horror movies we see in the mainstream cinema.
Where to Watch the Movie on August 20th 2019:-
DarkCoast will release the film onto digital streaming platforms August 20th (Amazon, iTunes, inDemand, DIRECTV, Vudu, FANDANGO, Vimeo on Demand, AT&T, Google Play, Sling/Dish).
Twitter accounts:- Miller Datri Pictures , Come Said Night & Director Mr. Andres Rovira.
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