Dark Vision (2015)

Dark Vision posterI’ve mentioned it a few times before that whenever I watch a horror film I always take notes. I jot down the names of the main characters, the basic plot, and my impressions of the film. When I write my reviews I often glance at my notes to remind myself about various plot points and if there was a decent amount of gore in the film and things like that. Sometimes a film makes such an impression on me that I don’t need to consult my notes at all. I loved the films AVENGED and HELL FIRE so much that I remembered every detail about them. Other times I need to read and reread my notes because I don’t remember a damn thing about the film. Unfortunately DARK VISION falls into the later category. I watched it just over a week ago and when I came across my notes for it I didn’t even recognize the title. Let’s see what went wrong.

“Dark Vision” is a reality show holding a contest where viewers get to determine the fate of various competing paranormal investigation teams. The viewers vote which team they like the best and the winning team gets their own paranormal reality TV series. There’s a total of five teams competing but we only focus on one team, Mind-Full, as they investigate Baylock’s Folly, an old estate with a dark past and possibly a darker present. Spencer Knights (Bernie Hodges) is the leader of the Mind-Full team and wants nothing more than getting his own TV series. Jo (Suzie Latham) is Spencer’s go-to camerawoman, Kev (Simon Pearce) is another cameraman, Xan (Oliver Park) is the tech guy, and Marva (Alicia Ancel) is the team’s psychic. They all meet at the creepy old estate, which is littered with underground tunnels and passages, where they meet the estate’s caretaker Clem (Judith Haley). She gives them the typical warnings and tries to tell them that the dark history of the estate isn’t the actual history and that it’s much darker. But Spencer really doesn’t care and he sets out with his team to start filming in the underground tunnels.

Dark Vision1The story Spencer and the team know is that William Baylock, the original owner of the estate was a 15th century plague doctor who killed hundreds of sick and dying patients and is still said to haunt the estate and tunnels below. But as mentioned above, Clem tries to warn them that this isn’t what really went on and that the truth is much darker. They hold a seance, led by their psychic Marva, in the tunnels and then they all start to experience weird goings-on.

The acting in DARK VISION was good all around even though I didn’t understand what some of the character’s motivations were. For example, Ancel, who plays the team’s psychic Marva, did a good job in her role but I didn’t really ‘get’ her character. She’s a psychic working with a team of ghost hunters yet she needs to constantly be rendered unconscious. She was brought into the tunnels unconscious and Spencer was careful not to wake her up too soon. Ancel did a good job with the material she was given but her character was never really fleshed out enough to care. That goes for many of the other characters as well. We get a good deal of Baylock’s past explained to us but there was nothing really there of substance to make us either hate, fear, or sympathize with him one way or the other.

Dark Vision3The same criticism can be said for the overall story as well. At the end of the day DARK VISION is just another movie where a team of ghost hunters encounter the real thing and suffer the consequences. There was nothing new going on in the story to really grab you. The most interesting element was completely ignored. I liked the idea of there being five different teams of ghost hunters all vying for a reality show series. This element, though, was completely forgotten about as soon as it was introduced. It would’ve been fun if the teams were trying to sabotage each other and we the viewer is never sure if what we’re seeing is a real supernatural occurrence or just another team fucking around with a competing team. There’s just nothing that grabs you here and makes a lasting impression.

Dark Vision2DARK VISION was obviously made on a very tight budget (estimated at £75,000) but this wasn’t the problem. The movie looked pretty good, there were good actors, and I liked the setting. DARK VISION comes apart at the level of the script. There just wasn’t enough to keep my attention. I’ve seen this scenario done too many times and I was hoping for something a little more unique. DARK VISION was described to me as “a throwback gothic horror, a sort of mash up of an old school Hammer film meets Paranormal Activity with a touch of Scooby Doo going on in the shadows.” I honestly got none of this. There were a few enjoyable funny moments but I never got a gothic or old-school Hammer films feel from this film. If you’re into the entire found footage “ghost hunters meet real paranormal entities” sub-genre then you might enjoy this DARK VISION. I, unfortunately, found the entire film too dull to really get into. Pass on this one.

My Summary:

Director: Darren Flaxstone (& writer along with Bernie Hodges)

Plot: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Gore: 0 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay Bloody!!!

Dark Vision4

9 Responses to “Dark Vision (2015)”
  1. gynocrat says:

    I turned this off after 30 minutes. :/ I try to give all movies a chance, but this one was just… bleh.


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