Another one man special, ‘Dark Remains’ was written, directed and produced Brian Avenet-Bradley. I am not familiar with any of Bradley’s other work but from the standard set by ‘Dark Remains’ I can’t see him becoming a familiar face in horror.
The movie is set around a young couple, who, after the murder of their child, move to a solitary location within the woods in an attempt to restart their lives. It’s not long before they begin to unearth the unsettling secrets about the cabin and that every couple to have lived there have ended up committing suicide. Thats unlucky really isn’t it. Haunted by the ghosts of past residents the two struggle for survival.
To begin the plot doesn’t sound too bad, what is lost by the unimaginative and clichéd scenario is made up for by the fact that it is a tried and tested 90 minutes worth of content. The acting isn’t great, but eventually you do warm to the majority of the characters and the script, whilst, as with the plot, is as clichéd as hell, it does the job.
At the beginning of the movie things seem promising. Bradley seems to have focussed a lot on the idea of atmosphere and seems determined to a least have a go at of making his viewers jump. The usual tactics are employed; eerie music, a slow pace of movement and some unnecessarily dark locations are all accompanied by a pop up ghost. Credit where it’s due, some of the scares are quite effective, one in particular, quite reminiscent of the exorcist’s spider walk scene, gave me a full set of shivers. Sadly though, whilst it might work once, maybe twice, the employment of the same formula throughout 90 minutes becomes a little tiresome, and with each failed effort, all the build up gets more and more frustrating.
A second criticism is with the story. I didn’t really see how anybody could really mess it up; I mean it’s the sort of ghost story a child could come up with, however somehow, and it is actually quite difficult to pinpoint where, some of the plot’s ‘twists’ don’t really make much sense at all, and by the end the story has lost a lot of its consistency leaving the whole affair feeling a little cheap. It’s almost like the plot was either not thought through properly, which in all honesty is unlikely, or (most likely) Bradley failed to effectively articulate the plot well.
Overall this movie isn’t a complete write off and despite the technical criticism it’s a fairly enjoyable affair. If you are looking for something to watch, and don’t mind the cliché plot and enjoy cheap ‘you tube’ style jump effects, then give it a go. Do or don’t, you have lost nor gained. It was a safe film for Bradley to put forward but next time something a little more imaginative would possibly allow him to stake more of a claim.