For a Direct to DVD, this is actually a fairly good story an
FBRobertson | SC United States | 10/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The story is really not that complicated and convoluted. A young girl meets an imaginary friend who would be there with her as she grows up. When she goes to a party at the age of 21 she is drugged, raped, and killed. But she doesn't go to heaven or hell, more like a world in between (something akin to the movie Jacob's Ladder) where there are angels and demons waiting to either help her or destroy her. What she goes through is a spirited battled with creatures that would possess the soul, ravage the soul, and enslave the soul. At first you want to tell the main character to stop running around like a chicken with a head cut off. But I digress, by the midpoint of the story, you are really drawn into the characters and the mystical and horrific world the young woman's soul is in. While this is not a Christian film, I would have to say that there are some overtones that could be considered "Christian" in some sense...such as the idea of spiritual warfare, the idea of there being demons and devils that want to tempt you, torture you, and bring you down to the ground; while there is a LIGHT that draws you toward it ("God" in a sense) that wants to bring you into salvation. Again, let me reiterate, this is not a Christian movie but it does have a lot of interesting overtones that really need to be examined and considered. I really enjoyed this movie (the movie isn't perfect, but I feel sure that it should be given five stars). I think that if you enjoy horror and if you enjoy intelligent horror even more so, then you'd get a real pleasure out of watching this movie."
Unusual horror offering
D. I. Shipley | KENT United Kingdom | 01/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film on the Zone Horror channel a few nights back and was pleasantly surprised at how good it actually was.
Basically the plot sees a young girl - Celia(played by Monica Keenan) going to a party. There she gets slipped a date rape drug, gets raped, and dies as a result of overdosing on this drug. Coming too on another plane which is somewhere between Heaven and Hell, she is horrified to learn that she is dead. Worse this plane is full of zombie like 'Soul Eaters' who like nothing more than to snack out on the souls of the recently deceased if they can catch them... Among these soul eaters is the spirit of her deceased grandfather (Tim Thomerson - Near Dark, Trancers) who attempts to devour her soul by at first trying to trick her. Luckily for the deceased girl, there is a sanctuary of light created around the deceased which lasts for a few hours, and this light keeps these creatures at bay. However, the deceased can step out of it, and this light has the disconcerting habit of moving around every so often too.
Also on this strange plane of existence, Celia encounters a young man (played by David Anders) who appears to be a Guardian Angel of sorts and offers her help and advice in how to deal with the immediate danger and what she should do on a more long term basis. She also meets the souls of her mother and grandmother, and both also give her advice as to what she should do.
Having to make difficult and potentially damning choices, often in the heat of the moment, makes for a very difficult and dangerous experience, indeed. Just whose advice should Celia trust and are the beings that she encounters actually what they seem?
This is a tense and atmospheric little film with a very unusual setting and storyline which make it quite original in fact.
I actually quite enjoyed it and would recommend it to other viewers, wanting a horror film that is a little different.
Only Dumb Girls Accept Open Drinks from a Stranger.
E K Maxmias | Close enough to Detroit! | 02/20/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Which is why the main character, played by pillowed lipped Monica Keena ends up in some sort of purgatory. I guess only good smart people move directly to heaven. For the rest of us, there's a little more work to be done. Perhaps I'm getting a little ahead of myself on this one. I really need to break it down (that's just what I do).
THEY USED TO BE CALLED "MICKEY-FINS" (I'll try not to go beyond what's said on the DVD case)
Now they're called "date rape drugs". I think the only real difference is that sickoes weren't as creative back in the "good ol' days". But this really is how things get started in "Left in Darkness". You see, it's Celia's (Keena) birthday and her friend wants to Partay. So, what better place than a frat house full of horny, drunk losers. Celia reluctantly obliges her friend and ends up getting hammered. Unfortunately for the frat-boy losers, she holds her liquor well. One guy has been working her all night and is getting nowhere, so he hands her his special brew. You can imagine what happens next. Of course the special brew kills Celia who is left alone in a dingy shower stall. She wakes up only to find herself still lying in the shower. That's right; she bit the big one but is now stuck here as a ghost until she can find a way out. This would all sound really stupid except that it happens all too often in real life (not the ghost part) and is all executed fairly realistically here. This all takes about 20 minutes and could serve well as a cautionary tale for young women today. I recommend they show this in High Schools. For horror fans, it's a bit of a drag but could be worse.
GOOD NIGHTMARE GONE BAD
Did you ever have a nightmare where you start in a bad place, escape, then find yourself wishing you had stayed in the bad place? That's how the film "Left in Darkness" feels; claustrophobic, lonely and desperate. . This is a great way to run a horror movie when done right. However, problems occur quickly when the writers fail to follow their own rules for this purgatory and then start to make them up add-hock just to keep things moving. All I ask of a film is if you're going to have rules, then stick to them and by all means, think them out to a logical conclusion before proceeding. This film fails to do that. It wasn't intolerable, but it was definitely a problem.
BITS AND PIECES (mild spoilers)
No, I'm not going to talk about dismemberment, unfortunately. I just thought I should briefly cover some points for horror movie fans since this is not typical horror fare. You should understand that there is little gore, virtually no nudity and not too many big scares. What you'll get is more of that nightmarish, uneasy feeling I talked about earlier. The acting is good enough, particularly Keena, but the story is inconsistent and gradually grows sillier as things progress. And just to really screw things up; there is a sappy ending.
SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT
I'd have to say this is a rental for horror fans. Though the concept and execution are fairly original, the story establishes rules that it refuses to follow and cheats on a whim. The film makers did a good job creating a nightmarish experience but it's more uneasy than scary. Though it might sound silly, the first 20 minutes of this film hold great value as a cautionary tale for young women out there who might think the party life is for them. If you're going to party, at least be armed with an educated and cautious mind; it could be the difference between life and death.
Ed value....4 stars
J. McHenry | Detroit, MI | 12/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While this isn't a masterpiece, I had to speak up for this scrappy little flick. Real effort was put into a thought-provoking philosophical premise, and while there is unsubtle, talky exposition, there is also a lot of action. Plus if you liked watching Monica run around that Freddy film, you will be very happy. A few hard twists keep this from the cliche zone too. The loyal horror fan who is punch drunk from a thousand and one cauliflower eared cinematic palookas will shed grateful tears over this one."