From the Dark Blu-ray review
A man digs a hole on a hillside. When he hits something too hard to shovel through, he starts pulling and prying with his hands. He looks in and sees something he can’t quite reach. When he walks off, the dirt starts rising. With his curiosity getting the better of him, he returns at night, only to be pulled in.
Earlier that day, young couple Sarah (Niamh Algar, 2014 mockumentary THE LIGHT OF DAY) and Mark (Stephen Cromwell, Irish soap opera RED ROCK), are driving. They discuss marriage, with Sarah thinking it a due commitment and Mark considering it a modern form of slavery. But deciding on whether or not to tie the knot will soon be the least of their problems. They end up on the wrong road, and soon enough, the car gets stuck in mud. Sure enough, they wind up at the farmland featured in the prologue. You know, the one where the old guy was killed.
Because Mark has clearly never seen a horror movie, he wanders through the house with just a flashlight. It’s there that he discovers the farmer (Gerry O’Brien, whose fairly lengthy filmography lists titles from PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST to GAME OF THRONES), who has a serious wound on his neck. When they get back to the car, a meaningless argument between Sarah and Mark distracts them enough for Mark to be grabbed and pulled into a hole.
FROM THE DARK is a vampire movie, with the creature (which resembles early discarded versions of the cave dwellers from Neil Marshall’s THE DESCENT and sound like it forgot its inhaler underground) only coming out at night, aiming for the neck and being damaged by light. To spell this out, 95% of the movie takes place at night. This should serve the scares, but really it’s mostly too difficult to see anything and so most of the frights are left in shadows. (Even the devices that are meant to brighten the scenery, like flashlights, don’t offer much help, as they tend to blind the viewer.)
Such techniques—which also include the sort of score (by Ray Harman, whose credits include a long collection of shorts and TV series) that screams at the audience when to jump and an unstable camera that dare the viewer to focus on anything—only serve to expose just how amateur the entire production is. FROM THE DARK is written and directed by Conor McMahon, whose previous credits include 2004’s DEAD MEAT (about animals spreading a deadly disease to humans) and 2012’s STITCHES (about a clown who comes back from the dead; it won a Fright-Fest Award for Best Death). McMahon takes a risk by having only a cast of four, but he never does enough with it to make his latest effort stand out either as a vampire movie or an Irish horror flick. Instead, it gets lost even with the lights on.
Video: 1.85:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. The video transfer does little to give the characters, scenery and creature any clarity.
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English 2.0 LPCM. Subtitles in English. Dialogue is clear and the score and sound effects come through without issues.
Commentary with writer-director-producer Conor McMahon: McMahaon offers a listenable track in which he discusses the movie’s origins, cast, locations, and more.
Behind the Scenes (20:59): This featurette shows the planning and execution of a selection of scenes.