Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Out of Darkness is a bold and ambitious thriller that takes audiences on a captivating journey back to the Stone Age

Horror fans are in for a treat as the chills keep coming in the thriller Out of Darkness from Bleecker Street. Andrew Cumming makes his directorial debut with the film from a script by Ruth Greenberg. Potential viewers should know that the film is subtitled as the dialogue in the movie uses TOLA, invented by poet, historian, and multi-linguist Dr. Daniel Andersson. TOLA stands for ‘The Origin Language’ and is a mix of Arabic and some Basque vocabulary.

A family of six has arrived on the shores of a barren and desolate landscape after a treacherous journey by a small boat across the narrow sea. The family members are Young Heron (Luna Mwezi), who has just reached the cusp of his adolescent years. His mother, Ave (Iola Evans), finds herself in the advanced stages of pregnancy, expecting their kin’s newest addition to the family. Adem (Chuku Modu), his father and the paramount leader, leads them into an uncharted wilderness. Geirr (Kit Young) could be a brotherly figure to Adem. The narrative voice belongs to Beyah (Safia Oakley-Green), an outsider they have adopted, while Odal (Arno Lüning), an elder regarded with skepticism by others, persistently struggles for their attention.

They are starving, desperate, and living 45,000 years ago. First, they must find shelter and strike out across the tundra wastes towards the distant mountains that promise the abundant caves they need to survive. But when night falls, anticipation turns to fear and doubt as they realize they are not alone.

Set against the backdrop of a prehistoric era, Out of Darkness introduces us to a small tribe facing a series of inexplicable events. As the tribe’s members disappear, panic and suspicion begin. The film intelligently explores themes of fear, survival instincts, and the lengths people are willing to go to protect their loved ones.

One of the film’s most substantial assets is its captivating atmosphere. Director Andrew Cumming and writer Ruth Greenberg do an exceptional job of bringing the Stone Age to life, immersing viewers in the harsh realities of that time. The raw and gritty cinematography and the haunting score add tension to every scene, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats.

The script is filled with intricate details and clever twists that keep viewers on their toes. With each revelation, the plot deepens, unveiling a web of secrets and an unexpected supernatural element. The film successfully merges the thriller genre with its historical setting, creating a unique and fresh experience.

Out of Darkness benefits from a strong ensemble cast that delivers impressive performances. The unknown actors give emotionally charged portrayals of folks couple determined to uncover the truth behind the tribe’s strange disappearances.

However, while Out of Darkness showcases undeniable ambition, it falls slightly short in pacing. The film’s deliberate slow-burn approach may not appeal to those seeking constant action or quick resolutions. Some viewers might feel that certain scenes and character development take longer than necessary, slowing down the overall momentum of the story.

Nevertheless, Out of Darkness is an ambitious, high-concept Stone Age thriller that combines historical elements with mysterious and suspenseful storytelling. With its gripping atmosphere, strong performances, and intriguing plot, it offers a refreshing take on the thriller genre.

Out of Darkness hits theaters nationwide on February 9, 2024.

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Out of Darkness is a bold and ambitious thriller that takes audiences on a captivating journey back to the Stone Age