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Dark Light (2019) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  90m  •    •  Directed by: Padraig Reynolds.  •  Starring: Jessica Madsen, Ben Sullivan, Opal Littleton, Weston Meredith, Ed Brody, Kristina Clifford, Gerald Tyler.  •  Music by: Holly Amber Church.
A woman returns to her family home and discovers it to be inhabited by monsters.


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Right off the bat, the film commits an error. I can't stand first-scene spoilers. Many modern-day horror films rely on this shtick, yet what they hope to achieve with this garbage strategy is beyond me. Especially found-footage films tend to start off that way. Admittedly, there isn't much to spoil in found-in-sewage movies: audiences know that everyone dies in them.

But this isn't yet another mindless, boring found-in-sewage horror, it's another mindless monsters-go-bump-in-the-dark flick. In the movie's defense, the "main plot" catches up with the spoiler before the half-way mark as opposed to at or just before the end, as is often the case. But it still annoyed me that for a fair while I knew what was going to happen. It took me out of the movie.

Logically and predictably, the nonsense soon starts piling up. Lizard people. Yes, the bad guys are "lizard people who went into hiding eons (of your years) ago due to man, but are now back, evolved". That's some evolution: these lizard thingies had basically mastered every magic trick in the book hence should have been ruling the world by now, forcing the humans into hiding not the other way round. With the powers they possess they should be crushing man-made civilization, all across the globe, and with ease. Even alien invaders aren't this brilliant with stealth attacks and all the sneaking around, appearingdisappearing at will. Instead, these lizards seem to be unaware of their huge potential hence they mess around some irrelevant farm, around an irrelevant woman and her irrelevant daughter. Are they a bit thick? No, they seek "energy". An explanation will be provided, keep reading...

The movie provides no info on this, but I have to assume that these lizards hypnotize kids with ease. How else do we explain the daughter being on their side from day 1?

Even less logical is the woman's bizarre escape. A (stuffed?) cow just happens to block the cop truck transporting her to prison, and she just happens to be the only survivor out of 5 people, actually leaving the wreck uninjured. Very absurd, highly illogical, total far-fetched rubbish of a plot-device. The writer: "where do we go from here? How do we allow this woman to save her daughter? Oh, I know! A stray cow will miraculously block the prison car during a storm - in front of a bridge - and she'll just waltz off unharmed back to her house, and then visit the lizard expert for help, because - somehow - he happens to live nearby..." He didn't even have the sense to pick a deer, or a bear instead. A stray cow in the middle of the night?

How convenient that the lizard expert lives so close by to her, that she reaches him with ease - as a fugitive and without a car. After all, America only has 50 states, and they are scattered over a tiny area, barely larger than Holland...

It gets sillier from here... We find out from the lizard whisperer that lizards "get their energy from children, because children are the purest form of energy." Say what? Children, energy, purest form... Huh? Gobbledygook much?

"2,000 children disappear every day." Gee, and here we thought all along that it was kiddie-fiddlers, child-traders and mass-murderers who abduct all those kids! Nope. It's the lizards, because hey, they be needin' them kids: they be havin' plenty of PURE ENERGY in them. Pure science stuff, as I am sure Tyson deGrasse would agree; after all, he supports even the most extremist, laughable Global Warming theory. Why shouldn't he give his thumbs up for this lizard-children energy-kidnap thingy as well.

How about childish dwarfs then? Do they qualify as sources of "pure energy" too? Old senile people who act like children? No?... Kittens? They are after all children of cats, and you can't get any purer than that... Young raccoons? Baby fish? No? Not pure enough?

Hang on. If children are what the creatures need, why was their HQ located at the woman's farm? There was nobody there for years, certainly no children.

But wait... It gets even sillier. The lizard hunter imprisons the woman, as precaution because she might kill the lizard hence spoil his chance to catch one alive! No joke, that's his rationale, I am not making any of this stuff up. He somehow knows all this stuff about the lizards - yet he never saw one? Never caught one. Sillier yet, he somehow happens to have a "prison room" ready, as if he were some serial-killer or something, which he clearly is not. How convenient, huh? Nothing is too convenient i.e. too far-fetched for Reynolds who wrote this mess.

Just to sidetrack a bit, there is a serious contradiction between what the lizard conspirator says and what actually happens. He insisted that "they listen to everything", yet the lizards never went out of their way to kill him earlier. If they know everything why would they tolerate his existence, his YouTube clips about them? Don't they have the internet? Oh yeah, silly me... there is no internet connection in most underground tunnels...

This lizard-obsessed dolt heads to her house, with no real plan, except with the very slim hope that a lizard is kind enough to offer itself to be captured without resistance, sort of like going tiger-hunting in the hopes that the tiger will simply hop into your cage voluntarily. So he predictably gets attacked, and killed. Though not immediately. The lizard is so incompetent that it needs three attacks to finish off this clumsy, clueless clod. The cops discover the body, then, somehow, the woman reaches her home before the cops do, despite them having a police car and her having...? No, we the much-ignored, much-hated audience never find out how she moves around. By car? Helicopter? One of those new hipster city rollers? Does she fly?

Then, just as you think "surely there's nothing that stupid coming up again", the woman's ex-husband shows up at the house. Wasn't he shot in the groin area not that long ago? What a miraculous and speedy recovery... Doubtlessly Reynolds performed the surgery, what we medical cinemaphiles refer to as "quick-fix script surgery". I must confess: at this point I was expecting his ex-wife to accidentally shoot him - again. I was secretly hoping she would because I knew how loud I'd be laughing if she did. It would have been B-movie comedy gold. Unfortunately, she doesn't, i.e. the writer isn't that lost: he has his limits.

Or not. When the woman finds her ex-hubby covered in blood, inside the secret underground tunnel, she asks him stupidly: "What happened? Are you OK?" Verbatim. What does she mean what happened?! He got attacked by the lizards, you silly cow! Is he OK?! Sure, he must feel great after a violent monster just smashed his head in! And why wasn't he killed? Perhaps lizards left him alive hoping he'd re-unite with his ex-wife. It would make sense, because if they kissed and made up they might make more kids. And kids equal "pure energy". Logical, right?

If her ex-husband had completely healed, then a lot of time would have to have passed. And yet, if this were true, then their abducted daughter would have to have starved by the time they find her. Or did the lizards feed her? With what? Bird eggs?

But just so you don't get the idea that inconsistencies and absurdities are this movie's "only" vices, there are also horror clich├ęs galore: jump-scare dream sequences, doors slamming shut, lizards hiding in the backseats of cars, lizards shrieking stupidly as all boring monsters do, the sheriff predictably getting killed as "punishment" for not being a believer... The whole shebang.

Predictably, the film never tells us where lizards store this precious "kiddie energy"? In water bottles or air-tight containers? Do they sniff this energy, and if so are their noses located in their rear end? There certainly doesn't seem to be much space for a nose on those heads...

Admittedly, there is a scene in which they seem to be using their heads to absorb the energy, rather than their derrieres. But I can't be sure, because their rear ends and their heads are so hard to distinguish. Same with the writer, actually...

Nor do we ever find out why the woman and her daughter get nose-bleeds. Because lizards smell that bad?

One more thing: why does the daughter start cooperating with her mother at the end? Until then she seemed very much on Team Lizard, she appeared to be hypnotized. What broke the spell? Yet more inept script surgery... Script surgery breaks not just hypnotic spells but any kind of logic it needs to. For the greater good of Badmovieland.

The direction is OK, but the script is typical of Reynolds: contradictory, illogical trash.

Review by fedor8 from the Internet Movie Database.