From the Dark

From the Dark

I’m going to give you a big fat spoiler right up front, and then we can be done with this whole thing. Are you ready? Ok, here it is: the vampire-like creature in From the Dark can be harmed by light. Any light, in fact, whether it be flashlight, lamplight, cell phone light, match light, or sunlight. If you can think of a source of light, this creature is afraid of it.

The young couple who comes across the creature in an abandoned house after their car gets stuck in the mud somewhere out in bumfuck Ireland take a long time to figure out this fact, but once they do, they spend the next 90 minutes desperately trying to stay within the protection of any light source they can find so they don’t get their throats ripped out by the creature. This means running and jumping and hiding in every direction, crook and crevice, and generally getting injured within an inch of their lives.

The problem–with the plot, and the entire movie, really–is the fact that the house and the barn, and even the main characters, are lousy with lights. There are lights in the kitchen and lights in the den, lights upstairs and downstairs, outside and everywhere. The couple each has a cell phone capable of producing much light. One of them even has a cigarette lighter, which produces–you guessed it–light. The creature cleverly attempts to limit the light by smashing bulbs and what not, but it’s apparently not smart enough to destroy ALL the lights. Which begs this question: if you know that the creature that’s stalking you for your softer flesh can be harmed by something that’s the opposite of dark, why would you not simply stay right beneath, above, or relatively near that source of not-dark until the sun comes up?

There’s some creepy atmosphere at work here, an admittedly promising opening sequence, and the actors are serviceable enough, but none of that makes up for the fact that From the Dark is dumb. Really, really dumb.

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