4.8/10
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Dark Touch (2013)

Not Rated | | Horror | 19 March 2014 (France)
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In a remote town in Ireland, eleven-year-old Niamh finds herself the sole survivor of a bloody massacre that killed her parents and younger brother. Suspecting a gang of homicidal vandals, ... See full summary »

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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Nat Galin
...
Lucas Galin
Charlotte Flyvholm ...
Tanya Collins
...
Matthew Collins (as Stephen Wall)
Robert Donnelly ...
Ryan Gallin
...
Lucy Gallin
...
Henry
...
Maud
Simon Boyle ...
Mr. Brennan
...
Collette
...
Joseph
Katie Kirby ...
Lisbeth
Clare Barrett ...
Christine
...
Peter
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Storyline

In a remote town in Ireland, eleven-year-old Niamh finds herself the sole survivor of a bloody massacre that killed her parents and younger brother. Suspecting a gang of homicidal vandals, the police ignore Niamh's explanation that the house is the culprit. To help ease her trauma, dutiful neighbors Nat and Lucas take her in with the supervision of a social worker. Niamh has trouble finding peace with the wholesome and nurturing couple, and horrific danger continues to manifest. Written by IFC Midnight

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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19 March 2014 (France)  »

Also Known As:

O Lado Sombrio  »

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€2,729,542 (estimated)
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Third feature film by French director Marina de Van. See more »

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Struggles of the Abused
3 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

Dark Touch looks like a rework of Stephen King's Carrie, except it's more keen at the themes of suffering with abusive parents. Even though that this is a horror movie, it is at its most interesting when it deeply focuses on the main character dealing with her trauma. The supernatural elements only becomes the allegory of her feelings against the violence she faces at home. The narrative can get a little clunky and once it gets hateful at the third act, things felt sort of incoherent. Still, Dark Touch offers a compelling core that keeps it from being like any generic horror film we usually get these days.

The movie is pretty slow, while it satisfyingly shows enough disturbing violence, the movie is more concerned at the traumatized young girl who is unable to overcome on what she was treated by her family. We often just see the motions of her new life trying to fit in to a normal new family and visiting some therapy. The final note of the movie seems to indicate that this is a personal message against child abuse from one of the filmmakers. It's quite compelling when it keeps things grounded, the girl's supernatural abilities is only a symbolism of her anxiety and a growing tension of harming the people who cares for her. Apart from that realism and analogy, the movie becomes sort of clunky at its horror movie elements. This as well sets up to an ending that has an obvious meaning, but felt a little unfitting to what has accomplished. As a result, it looks glorious to those who agree with its sentiment, but also disappointing for how much better it could have been.

The movie still deserves a lot of credit. As much as there are characters dying violently, the movie doesn't try to make that the whole point of it all. It doesn't even bother explaining the origins of Niamh's curse. What's important here is to portray the terrible effects of abuse to a child. The movie brings a stunning cinematography that reflects their world's melancholic atmosphere. Young Missy Keating does fine as Niamh. Her limited expressions do work for hiding the pain of her character. Better are the supporting who decently back her up.

Dark Touch is alright, there is a potential of a better movie that may become an excellent allegory, but it's still difficult to explain what to exactly feel about the third act. It's probably to add more camp since it doesn't offer much horror within its storyline, or the filmmakers just hate child abuse too much that it has to take it that far. Wasn't her telekinetic powers already enough for their consequence? And it's also a pretty compelling one if you think about it. The point is, the conclusion just doesn't quite fit in the process, as it largely shifts the tone. But the movie has a clear statement, and I think that's enough for it. Horror fans may appreciate its bloody death scenes, though that's not exactly what this movie is about, the movie just could have been tighter in its messaging. There is an absolute reason why we must hate child abuse, but out of caricatures, too much hate really affects the experience.


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