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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday May 20th 2024

Out of Darkness

from the series Movie Corner

4 out of 5 Stars

Bleecker Street 2024
Thriller/Horror/ Mystery

By HOWARD MCQUITTER II

a photo of the author
Howard McQuitter II

Scottish director Andrew Cumming has crafted a most unusual film. His first full feature film Out Of Darkness occurs in prehistoric times – 45,000 years ago – where survival is of the utmost importance. Yet Cumming’s clever work does not rely on survival alone but crosses the genres of horror, thriller, and mystery.


The people at that time are hunter gatherers, finding land that is not barren and has enough food and water for subsistence. When the area is barren, Adem (Chuku Modu), the group’s leader, along with Heron (Luna Mwezi), his younger brother Geirr (Kit Young), and their elderly aide Odal (Arno Luning) leave for more fertile land only to find out it is just as barren as the land they left. The group is joined by a straggler, Beyah (Safia Oakley Green) and travels to another unforgiving landscape. Beyah is worried that she and her baby may not survive under the onerous conditions.

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The characters speak a fictional tongue called Toga, hence the movie uses subtitles. Although the landscapes are aesthetically beautiful, the dense woods are menacing, dangerous and alluring all at once.
I think what director Andrew Cumming and screenwriter Ruth Greenberg are saying in Out Of Darkness is that in spite of not having any modern conveniences (gas lamps, electricity, central heating, etc.) humans’ basic nature to survive under the most harsh conditions hasn’t changed in 45,000 years.


At some point, the question one has to ask these six people in their struggle to survive is whether or not the menace is within themselves and/or in the monsters hidden in the woods.

OUT OF DARKNESS

Cast: Chku Modu (Adem), Iola Evans (Ave), Kit Young (Geirr), Arno Luning (Odal), Luna Mwezi (Heron), Safia Oakley Green (Beyah), Rosebud Melarkey (Neanderthal Woman), Tyrell Mhlanga (Neanderthal Man).

Director: Andrew Cumming.

Screenwriter: Ruth Greenberg.

Cinematography: Ben Fordesman.

Original Music: Adam Janota Bzowski.

Running Time: 88 minutes.

Howard McQuitter II is a longtime movie critic. He has been reviewing movies for the alley since 2002.

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