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The Dark and the Wicked

Director Bryan Bertino (THE STRANGERS) uses elements from the haunted house films of the last 30 years and keeps heightening the scares right until it reaches the last confrontation revolving around old David Straker‘s soul


THE DARK AND THE WICKED shows the last week in the life of David Straker. The old man is in a coma in a run-down farm. He is cared for by his wife, but once it‘s clear that his death is imminent, their two adult children Louise and Michael come to help their mother. The mother says that they didn‘t need to come because she is afraid that something evil is coming. On Tuesday she takes herself out by hanging herself in the stable where the sheep nervously baa and the homemade wind cimes seem to jingle on their own, and then the horror begins. The parents, now disfigured, suddenly appear in front of Louise and Michael and immediately disappear and the pastor they reach out to can only spout a few platitudes before becoming possessed by the evil energy: clearly the evil covets David‘s soul and wants to take it if he dies alone. Director Bryan Bertino (THE STRANGERS) is clearly inspired by elements of the haunted house films of the last 30 years and keeps tightening the tension until Sunday when the last confrontation surrounding David‘s soul takes place. The common step of giving a profane explanation to what‘s happening is left out. Evil is real, it‘s omnipresent and every innocent scene in which salvation could occur is another opportunity to show it‘s wide-ranging power. Even though some individual scenes are well-made, this superiority makes the film tiring and less thrilling than the similar LAMB or RELIC. In this film there‘s life after death, but no scares after the last scream.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: The Dark and the Wicked
USA 2020, 93 min
Genre: Horror
Director: Bryan Bertino
Author: Bryan Bertino
DOP: Tristan Nyby
Montage: William Boodell, Zachary Weintraub
Music: Tom Schraeder
Distributor: drop-out Cinema
Cast: Marin Ireland, Michael Abbott Jr., Xander Berkeley, Lynn Andrews
FSK: 16
Release: 14.04.2022




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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