Keep it in the Dark
Keep it in the Dark
Today’s film is the 2016 short horror story, Keep it in the dark written and directed by The Cremer Brothers (Herb and Joe) and starring Grace Soriano and Melissa Malone.
Keep it in the Dark tells the story of Cat (Soriano) a young girl who is deep into Urban Legends and other myths surrounding folklore. After the latest myth she looked into turned out to just be a father with a strange habit of painting the road where his daughter died red her sister told her about the local tale of the would famous Jersey Devil.
Ashley takes Cat out deep in the woods where an old metal shed is rumored to house the deformed creature and the two sisters hear something breathing inside. Cat wants to enter the building to confirm the myth but Ashley convinces her that breaking the lock and entering would ruin the myth and the two leave. Back at home Cat looks over the many stories and Facebook messages about the Jersey Devil and at long last curiosity gets the better of her and she returns with bolt cutters and her cellphone to get the story once and for all. Things however take a turn as not every Urban Legend is purely fictional.
As a film goer and movie reviewer I have always disliked the “Found Footage” and “Blair Witch” style films. I generally think they are cheesy at best and mind numbingly insulting at worst and when Keep it in the Dark started I was afraid I was in for it once more, however as the film went on I got more and more into the strange hybrid style that Joe Cremer attempted to amp up the tension and mystique of the film. The plot of the film takes the legends of The Jersey Devil which have been around for years and brings it to a younger and more cynical audience with the young girls not truly believing the myths and just out to have a good time.
Though only on the screen for a short amount of time the chemistry between Soriano’s Cat and Malone’s Ashley is clear and they both come across as loving sisters who often prank one another. My only true issue with the performance of Soriano is she often makes the most critical blunder in a independent film and looks directly at the camera several times. In many films this is actually a conscience choice by the director but you can clearly tell that this was just pure nerves on the part of the young and inexperienced actress which should have been caught in post production and re shot, however given the small budget of the film it is understandable that this was missed. When directors of Independent films writing a part for themselves into their films it is generally a bad idea as they try to outshine the principal actors of their films and make it more about themselves. This was not the case here as both Joe and Herb Cremer’s parts in the film are small and brief serving only as a way to move the plot along for our heroine and both small parts were believable in their portrayal of “random internet daredevils”.
The camera work of the film for the most part was fairly high quality for a low budget Indy film. Each shot was crystal clear and it was very obvious that the cinematographer took pride in his work. While I have never truly been a fan of extreme close ups of the actors or the slightly tilted angles of the scenes it did add to the tension of the film. I can’t stress enough that so many Indy films are ruined by the director not truly using the camera to it’s full effect to instill the audience with the proper emotions of the scene and just letting the actor’s do all the work for them, this is not the case with Keep it in the Dark as both the actors and the camera work were vital to the setting of the mood.
In horror films the music will always play a major role in setting the tone of each scene and can very much make or break the aesthetic of the film and Keep it in the Dark is no exception. While generally creepy and music was very one note and droning and to me served to distract from the plot of the film instead of add to it. When you think horror stories the long key notes on the organ are pretty much the standard fair and completely expected for lower budget and if I am to be brutally honest lower quality films. To me this is the one glaring issue with the entire film and truly only brings the over all quality of the film down.
When all is said and done Keep it in the Dark is a fairly standard short horror film that doesn’t break the box with it’s creativity and only slightly builds the tension of it’s short run time but at just over twelve minutes long is worth a watch if you are a fan of the genre.