#FANTASIA: “THE DARK AND THE WICKED”
By Amanda Gilmore
When Louise (Marin Ireland) and Michael (Michael Abbott Jr.) come home to visit their mother (Julie Oliver-Touchstone) and slowly dying father (Michael Zagst) on their secluded rural farm, they quickly learn that something evil is lurking among them.
The Strangers Writer-Director Bryan Bertino is back with a bone-chilling horror Film that mixes grief with a terrifying possession story. The Occult-Horror theme of the devil seeking the souls of those with fractured families is used here. Bertino brings it to his Script creating a portrait of a fragmented family with grieving characters we care for. Their love becomes tested when they sense an unseen evil is terrorizing and possessing them. Early Bertino unsettles audiences and offers no lulls. The scares come from the excellent Lighthing, Directing, Sound and Production Design, combined with its stellar Cast led by Ireland. She carries the Film transitioning between grief, fear and disbelief with agility. Abbott Jr. turns in a restrained yet expressive performance and Xander Berkley gives a memorable, creepy supporting performance as a priest.
The Dark and The Wicked screens live online at Fantasia Fest on Fri. Aug. 28 at 9:45 PM.