September 30, 2013

Dark Touch (2013)

"In a remote town in Ireland, eleven-year-old Neve [sic] 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 Neve's [sic] explanation that the house is the culprit."

If you're silly enough to read any other horror blog except mine, you'll probably see a lot of people praising how cerebral "Dark Touch' is and how it's meant to have a big message about the trauma caused by child abuse or some such unhappy horseshit at the heart of it. What a load of crap! I wanted it to be a ghost story, especially as the official IFC Films synopsis suggests a haunted house, so let the hate commence!

For those of us who can see through the fluff and arty-farty edits, "Dark Touch" is nothing more than a slow-paced clone of Stephen King's "Carrie" and "Firestarter", but it's set in the Irish countryside to make it look better. Give or take a few more disturbed children, it's kind of like how "Wake Wood" (2011) was a rip-off of "Pet Sematary" (1989) in a similar location, and it sucks just as much.

Nice cinematography using every method of filming from handheld camerawork to tripod-mounted long shots doesn't make up for the story being boring as buggery apart from two lush moments of goriness. Once you've seen them, it's not worth waiting for more unless clich├ęs such as exploding windows, treading in broken glass with bare feet, or laconic little girls with Asperger's Syndrome float your boat. Even if they do, the cheap CGI fire effects will probably sink it.

Among the lameness, adults being pinned to walls by kitchen tables or chests of drawers against their thighs is a recurring theme in this movie which has very little to do with anything other than being another cheap and easy effect. I think it happens three or four times, but it may be more. What the significance of these repetitive scenes is, I have no idea. It can join the list of questions I have such as why does the hotter-looking mother suffer from bouts of tinnitus every time little Niamh throws a tantrum? And what kind of dyslexia causes the name Niamh to be pronounced "Neeve"?

"I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter."

As Irish horror movies go, "Dark Touch" isn't the worst I've ever seen, but it's not even close to being up to the same high standard as "Dorothy Mills" (2008). The creepy atmosphere promises more than it delivers, and the eclectic mixture of regional Irish accents (which range from mild to harsh and unintelligible) cause it to be only a donkey or two short of another "Rawhead Rex" (1986). Having said that, I do quite like "Rawhead Rex" in spite of Clive Barker disowning it, and I'm not even sure if it has any donkeys in it anyway. If it didn't, it should have done. But I've digressed.

The acting in "Dark Touch" is fine given that character development is almost non-existent, and Swedish import Charlotte Flyvholm has a filler part as a heavily pregnant school counsellor to justify the Swedish financial investment. Out of all the characters, she stood out most for me by being the third pregnant blonde that I've seen in a movie this week, the other two being Detective Inspector Sarah Clayton (Joanne Froggatt) in "uwantme2killhim?" and Barb's mother also called Sarah (played by Chantal Quesnelle) in "Curse of Chucky".

Since there's unlikely to be a theatrical release of "Dark Touch" near you, it's available for half the price of a cinema ticket through the various VOD services. At $6.99, I think it's still way too much for a pre-pubuscent "Carrie" clone, and you'd be better off saving your money for the official "Carrie" remake in a few weeks.

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