This may sound a little abstract but when you were watching the recent ‘I am Legend’ movie did you at any point think “wouldn’t this have been much better as a horror movie?” Well I did, and ‘Against the Dark’ is the closest thing I’ve found to the answer, in fact, ‘Against the Dark’ is pretty much just that.
Sadly the answer to my question is: not really no!
The plot is basically identical to ‘I am Legend’ which I guess in turn is only slightly different to the ideas behind ’28 Days later’ and other franchises such as ‘Resident Evil’ and the Romero saga. A plague which turns man into a blood lusting maniacal race wipes out all but a few immune. In this movie a group get trapped in a hospital building, over run by the nasties; and if that weren’t bad enough the military want to cleanse the place with the best antiseptic on the planet, nukes. Their only hope is a team of ‘hunters’, vigilantes who have taken up arms against the infected led by a slightly out of shape Steven Segal.
As you may have guessed the plot is slightly restricted, and the closed location in which most of the movie is set does detract a little from the global scale of things. In all fairness it’s not really clear why they are bothering to traverse each perilous floor of the building in the first place, it’s almost like the global side of things was an afterthought. The plot is very linear, and whilst there is a fair bit of action the pace doesn’t lag as such, it is just stuck in one gear.
The action is a mixture of hand to hand combat, gunplay and the occasional sword slash, which is all well and good, and in all credit, despite the mainstream feel of the movie, there is a fair amount of blood and gore. Don’t be expecting anything to excessive, but there are frequent images of peoples innards on the wrong side of their skin, as well as a couple of good head shots scattered about. Some of the blood is clearly CGI and stands out a mile, but the prosthetic stuff is pretty convincing.
In terms of everything else the movie is pretty much middle of the road. The monsters, half zombie, half vampire type creatures, look simple but passable. Bits of foundation and blood around the chops is all you get in terms of makeup, but the horde do seem to be made up of some pretty big and pretty menacing looking actors which make them a little more convincing. The action is pretty well directed, and the acting is passable all of which is complemented by a script, which, although cheesy suits the movies overall feel.
Overall, most people will simply be drawn to this movie because of Segal’s place in the cast; whether they will be disappointed or not I guess depends on their opinions of the quality of his other movies. I however expected mediocrity, and that is something the movie delivers. In terms of its place in horror, it’s been done before, better, and whilst I didn’t hate it, one watch is all it’s getting from me.