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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

"Gotta love the smell of death in the morning."

Author: Backlash007 from Kentucky
18 February 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


The Dark is an enjoyable but forgettable monster flick. It starts out as a cliche from hell: A widower drinking at his wife's grave, a bar-fight that asks us to believe a scientist can take three bikers, and a sex scene involving two people that just met. That's the forgettable part. The enjoyable side of the movie comes when our characters finally enter the graveyard tunnels. It seems that there's a creature under the cemetery that feeds off the dead and secretes a powerful healing ooze. We've got our hero, who wants to save the creature, and our villain, who wants to destroy it, racing each other to find the monster first. It's quite an original story, but the way it was done reminded me of Graveyard Shift (i.e. humans running around underground with giant rats). It stars Stephen McHattie (doing his best Lance Henriksen impression, as mentioned in previous reviews), a pre-Scream Neve Campbell, and B-movie king Brion James. When researching the movie, I found out that Brion James died in mid '99. It's sad news, but he left a large legacy of B horror classics and A science-fiction epics. The Dark might not be one of these classics, but it deserves more respect that it gets.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not bad.

Author: Kastore from Chicago, IL
12 September 2002

I sought out to see the handful of entries into the horror genre achieved by the late, great Brion James, which led me to check out "The Dark". It turned out to be an adequate late-night movie, owing a lot to the creature features from the 50s. The concept of the monster in this film is original and intriguing, and the thing itself is actually scary-looking, too. The triple conflict between the monster, the hero scientist who wants to preserve it, and the vengeful cop who wants to kill it adds to the story's effectiveness. A few contrivances and assumptions are forced on the viewer towards the start of the movie, especially how the hero survives his encounter with the creature in the opening sequence, and his initial 'adventure' with the waitress-cum-reluctant-sidekick, subsequently followed by their proper introduction at a nearby motel. But it's all worth it once the characters reach the cemetery under which the monster dwells. Most of the action takes place in a single night, which is always a plus for horror. And the whole picture has a very nice, um, 'dark' atmosphere to it.

I was surprised to see Neve Campbell's name appear in the opening credits, and although I was never a particular fan of her, she turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise in "The Dark". Brion James is excellent as the ruthless former detective hellbent on revenge against the creature at any cost. And Stephen MacHattie plays up his undeniable resemblance to Lance Henriksen by doing his best to act like LH, too. Worth watching as a late night rental. Though it never spawned a sequel, it probably deserved to, and I like to think it could still happen. Especially if they can get Neve to be in it! 5/10

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A well done monster movie

Author: bio_cloner from America
16 July 2002

Drama, suspense, a plot that's fresh, and the most adorable young Neve Campbell with eyes that twinkle when she smiles. What a cute kid. The creature is not without it's charms either, and the whole idea of it living in underground tunnels and feeding on the bodies of the buried makes sense. It's a little less agreeable if you happen to be *in* one of the tunnels when it's making it's rounds though!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Dark

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
15 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A prehistoric carnivorous predatory creature(which resembles a large-sized rodent of some kind, with a huge possum tail)feasts on the buried dead of cemeteries, creating underground tunnels to travel. A leather-jacketed widowed scientist, Hunter Henderson(Stephen McHattie)is in pursuit of that creature, moving from graveyard to graveyard until he can find it. But, also on it's trail is an unstable, rather homicidal, discharged FBI agent, Paul Buckner(Brion James, just recycling his old menace, but, as always, it works well for his character making him just as monstrous, if not more so, than the creature itself), after it for murdering his partner and especially monetary benefits for it's capture..dead or alive, but preferably dead. The creature secretes a sludge that can regenerate the cells of flesh wounds. Along the way, Hunter encounters a nasty threesome of bikers who threatened the life of a diner waitress, Tracy(Cynthia Belliveau), which ends in a minor shootout with a cook suffering the most of this unfortunate display of violence. With an APB out for them, Hunter and Tracy head on the road as they fall in love. In a nearby graveyard, cemetery groundskeepers portly Jake(Dennis O'Conner)and his young assistant Ed(Jaimz Woolvett of "Unforgiven" fame)encounter an entrance to the monster's tunnel hole and call in police deputies Gabe(Christopher Bondy)and lovely female partner Jesse(a young, pre-Scream Neve Campbell). After Gabe is eaten because of his attempts to see what was inside the tunnel, Jake, Ed & Jesse meet up with Hunter and a collective, the group will try to take the creature alive, under sedation from a special needle-gun Hunter has in his medical bag. But, Paul will certainly make that task especially difficult.

The monster looks like something out of the Jim Henson monster factory..the filmmakers try hard to shade it as much as possible. As I mentioned already, Brion James is the real villain causing much strife towards the others in his goal to kill and capture the monster. Stephen McHattie, a very recognizable face in television often portraying villains, is the laconic, brooding hero in this particular film. Might be interesting for those seeking out Neve's resume..the stuff she was in before "Scream" and "Wild Things". I think creature feature fans might get more out of this flick than most others. The characters aren't really developed overwhelmingly, just little glances into their lives through momentary lines of dialogue..the filmmakers focus more on the monster, it's lair and those pursuing it.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: Richard John Thompson ( from Swainsboro, Georgia
28 July 1999

I rented The Dark just to see Neve Campbell in it. I was expecting something that at the least wouldn't make me want my money back. I got even better! The Dark is a very interesting movie about a scientist turned hunter who is determined to find the deadly animal that saved his life two years ago. But he isn't the only one after the miraculous creature who can either heal or kill. A unique movie in a sea of recreations and old movies being revamped. The story is very interesting and the characters have histories and personalities. When you watch it, at least in my case, you end up wishing for more not from disatisfaction but for more goodness. Plus, Neve Campbell looks great as a policewoman!

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

What can I say other than....AWESOME!!!

Author: Zanatos from Peoria, Illinois USA
7 June 1999

This is one of the neatest movies I've seen in a long time. It is creative, fast-paced, fun, freaky, and surprising all at once. What more could I ask for in a film? Here's the rundown: (it's been awhile since I've seen it, so a few minor details might be off)

Stephen McHattie plays a doctor who is on the trail of a creature left over from prehistoric times: a giant rodent-like beast whose blood has the magical power to heal. The creature lives in tunnels it digs underground in cemeteries, and McHattie has finally tracked the last of its kind to one in a small town. Unfortunately for him, the creature is also being trailed by a crazed FBI agent (played by the always wonderful Brion James) who wants to kill the creature because it killed his partner.

Not much else to say about the plot without giving away surprises, other than that the climax inside the creatures tunnels are some of the coolest scenes I've watched. They create suspense and make you giggle while you shiver. And it is a prime example of how you don't need a super huge budget to make a super movie. Horror fans, this is a must-see! Zanatos's score: 9 out of 10!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Fun Monster Movie

Author: loomis78-815-989034 from United States
6 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is a huge prehistoric beast that moves from graveyard to graveyard creating tunnels underneath and eating the bodies of the dead. Two different people have tracked it to a certain graveyard but their motivations are completely different. Hunter (McHattie) is a scientist who wants to study the beast for medical cures, while and ex-FBI man named Paul (James) wants revenge for the killing of his partner. Two gravediggers from the cemetery named Ed (Jaimz Woolvett) and Jake (O'Connor) join forces with Hunter and his girlfriend Tracy (Belliveau) to capture the beast before Paul can fill it full of holes. Admittedly Robert Cooper's script sounds pretty dumb but this doesn't get in the way of a pretty fun monster movie anyway. The actors take to their characters and become believable even though the plot is far fetched. Director Craig Pryce smartly uses dark humor as well but never allows this to get stupid as it easily could have. The two gravediggers steal scenes and are very likable and credit should be given to the actors. The movie has an amusing charm to it and rolls along nicely at a good pace. Pryce makes good use of the dark tunnels and the movie has some tense moments and a few scares sprinkled in with the fun. The production values are solid and the lighting and direction is slick. The creature itself is a bit of a let down once you see it, but is effective in the shadows most of the time. A young Neve Campbell has the role of a deputy. The movie has no right being as good as it is, but this is a fun entertaining horror action film that will surprise you anyway.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Offbeat and interesting creature feature

Author: Woodyanders ( from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
1 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A large rat-like creature that lives beneath a graveyard has blood with the magical ability to heal. Rogue scientist Gary "Hunter" Henderson (the always excellent Stephen McHattie) wants to capture and study it while crazed and vengeful FBI agent Paul Buckner (a fine performance by Brion James) is determined to kill the beast. Director Craig Price relates the compelling premise at a brisk pace, creates and sustains an intriguing air of mystery, and milks the scenes in the creature's subterranean lair for plenty of tension and spooky atmosphere. Robert C. Clarke's surprisingly thoughtful script adds a welcome and refreshing element of humanity that lifts this picture above your standard formula fright fare; the filmmakers warrant extra praise for presenting the creature in an unusually sympathetic manner instead of as your typical evil predatory monster. The sturdy acting by the capable cast qualifies as another major plus: Dennis O'Connor and Jaimz Woolvett are terrifically engaging as a couple of cemetery caretakers, Cynthia Belliveau makes a pleasant and favorable impression as feisty dinner waitress Tracy, and a very cute and young pre-stardom Neve Campbell acquits herself nicely as sweet deputy Jesse Donovan. Kudos are also in order for Michael Storey's slick cinematography and the spare shivery score by Paul Zaza, Guy Zerafa, and Alun Davies. A real sleeper.

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Sinkholes in a cemetery .....

Author: merklekranz from United States
12 November 2013

Strange tunnels beneath a cemetery lead monster hunters into a labyrinth where hides a corpse eating giant mutated rodent. Pretty ridiculous premise is somewhat saved by interesting characters. Stephen McHattie is the scientist wanting to keep the creature for science, while, the always evil, Brion James wants to kill it. The subterranean gut cruncher is well hidden for most of the film. This is a good thing, because it tends to mask it's low budget shortcomings. For me, "The Dark" is only kept from monster movie oblivion, by the presence of Brion James. Otherwise this film would be completely forgettable. - MERK

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Solid creature feature

Author: slayrrr666 ( from Los Angeles, Ca
29 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Dark" is a really entertaining and original creature feature.


A series of accidents force cemetery workers Jake, (Dennis O'Connor) and Ed, (Jaimz Woolvett) to investigate the accidents, and find a series of tunnels underneath. Scientist Gary Hunter, (Stephen McHattie) and nurse girlfriend Tracy, (Cynthia Belliveau) are tracking a giant creature and come to the cemetery. Meeting up together, he explains about the mysterious activity and that it's been caused by a creature that burrows underground. Ex-FBI Agent Buckner, (Brion James) arrives to kill the creature, and everyone tries to capture it before the other group.

The Good News: This wasn't all that bad as was originally intended to be. The setting is perhaps the best part of this. The sequences in the tunnels are the best parts, full of suspense and giving off a great atmosphere. The darkness in here is used to the best effect, concealing just about everything and making it not quite sure what's hiding in the dark. This is especially true in the opening half of the film, where the mystery isn't explained and it's a series of unexplained incidents that have a great sense of building up an incredible atmosphere in here. The concept for the monster is really clever and has a pretty unique and original. For a creature feature, this is a huge plus as there isn't a lot of that in the genre. The fact that the creature is a fully animatronic creation without even the slightest hint of CGI is one of the best things, as it gives the creature a much more real appearance and is something that looks like it could be a real creation. The non-stop pace is also a pleasant plus, giving it a really entertaining and fast feel to it. The film isn't all that dull at all and really keeps the excitement up. A really solid film.

The Bad News: There's only two things in here that really didn't work all that well. The creature looks hardly imposing and doesn't really give off any scares. It looks good when it's mostly shaded in the shadows, but when it's put into full view of the light, there's very little to get scared off. The other fact is that there's really not a lot of kills in the film, and that leaves the film really bloodless. Its not as gory as it could've been, but the lack of kills in a creature feature is a little off-setting. These are the main things against it.

The Final Verdict: There's not a lot to dislike about this one, and it's a rather creative creature feature that does deserve a wider appeal. Fans of the genre are advised to take a look at this one, and those interested are also advised to take a shot at it.

Rated R: Graphic Language, and Violence

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