Movie Review: Dark Was the Night (2014)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2014 thriller starring Kevin Durand and Lukas Haas.

Synopsis: A small-town sheriff, still mourning the accidental death of his son, investigates strange hoof-like footprints that appear all over town. As his investigation continues and he experiences other strange occurrences, he begins to believe he is up against something supernatural and the community he has sworn to protect is in danger.


We got a later start last night than I was hoping for, but my wife and I managed to find time to watch another movie. After some discussion and being unable to decide on one together, I ended up picking this film. Overall, I thought the movie had a lot of potential and even had a few scary moments. But, it just wasn't as good as it could have been.

As far as the plot goes, I honestly had no complaints. The movie does a good job of introducing the creature(s) by leaving clues about what they are and what they are capable of while, at the same time, not giving away too much information and letting the mystery unfold gradually. The fact we don't really see them until the very end but know they are quick and have sharp claws does help build up some of the intensity.

The problem I had with this movie is it never manages to get out of first gear. The creatures, as I said, are actually pretty creepy. But, at least for the majority of the movie, they are almost a secondary plot. The film spends much more time telling us about the sheriff (Durand), his deceased son and how it affected his marriage. I probably could have lived with that if that story actually had anything to do with the main plot. But, it really doesn't and, ultimately, makes the film somewhat boring.

I also wasn't a huge fan of the "investigation" conducted by the sheriff and his deputy (Haas). As I told my wife, I think the town would have been better off with Andy Taylor and Barney Fife simply because (as several townsfolk in the movie also pointed out) they seemed to spend much more time at home or at the bar than actually trying to figure out what was happening.

In fact, when the sheriff does encounter one of the creatures and it runs away from him, his first reaction is to go home and investigate in the morning rather than at least try to chase after it while the trail is fresh. Not to mention, when he accidentally stumbles upon the identity of the creature, he does almost no research about what it is or how to kill it. I suspect that town had a lot of unsolved crimes prior to this incident if that was an example of the effort he put into his job.

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Final Opinion

Despite its low budget, this movie had the potential to be a pretty scary film. Unfortunately, the decision to focus on the sheriff's personal life made it difficult for the movie to be as good as it could have been and I was pretty disappointed as a result.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 01/08/2016, StevenHelmer
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