Have you seen House on Haunted Hill? Have you seen Grave Encounters? Have you seen my previously reviewed Hollows Grove? If you answered yes to any of those then you have seen Dark Feed. It is near enough the exact same plot with near enough the exact same ending, it is about as close to a blatant rip off as you can get.
Now, as you can probably tell from that, I have, for a change, watched the film before righting this review and the one thing that I will say is that I only paid £1 for the film from Poundland, and even then I feel ripped off.
Obviously I’m going to go more in depth with this in the actual review below, but I can’t help but feel ripped off in many ways.
The very fact I keep getting the name of this film wrong should tell you all that you need to know about what I’m about to say. For some reason I keep thinking it’s called Dark Reel.
A film crew has entered an abandoned mental hospital to shoot their latest movie and things are seemingly going well. Although it has slight issues here and there, the filming process is going fairly smoothly and everyone is optimistic of pulling off a classic. Things take a sudden turn though when one of the actresses has a seeming mental breakdown in a lift, claiming that she saw a figure that was dripping with blood.
Everyone dismisses it at nonsense, but as time goes on more people start to experience hallucinations and are found just starring into the middle distance, pulling off a great Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. Before long various members of the crew start disappearing, and the ones that do remaining slowly start getting involved in usual accidents.
It doesn’t take long for the remaining survivors to notice that the numbers have significantly reduced and that they need to escape before they too suffer at the hands of the force that is turning everyone else insane.
To sum up how difficult it is to write this review, I watched this film two days ago and on that day I wrote the introduction and the plot…and nothing else. I haven’t motivated myself to return to the review since then. I have not been sat in front of my laptop for nearly an hour trying to even find something to write about in the first paragraph. So, the film gave me precisely zero motivation to actually review it.
It’s never a good thing when you watch a film that you fully intended to review and it gives you no reason to do so.
I suppose I could at least try.
I’m going to start the review with something that I have never started with before, the pacing. The best horror films work because they are paced magnificently. Films such as The Thing (the 1982 film, not the prequel from a few years ago) and the first two films in the REC franchise do well because whilst a lot of characters die, it’s not all of the time.
For the purposes of this review I’m going to compare Dark Feed to the first REC film. REC was a brilliant film because it builds so well. There’s always something happening and doesn’t rely on the body count/characters getting infected to be an interesting story and if anything, you wouldn’t lose anything by taking out the infection out, that’s how well it builds. Dark Feed does completely the opposite.
Dark Feed seems to be under the belief that body count is all that matters. There is a spell of around 30 minutes where a character either dies or kills another through their new found insanity every two minutes. After a while the novelty wears off and it just seems to be killing people for the sake of killing people. The worst part is that half of the characters aren’t even slightly developed, even to the point where I couldn’t tell you what ANY character in the film is called (notice how in the plot section that I don’t mention a single character name).
Because the characters are undeveloped and they soon start falling on such a regular basis, you become desensitised to what’s happening and it loses all potential it has to be interesting. If I don’t care about the characters, how does it really impact me on any level to see them all of a sudden die or turn insane/get infected/whatever? There is only one character I actually liked, and even then I still wasn’t motivated to the learn the character’s name. I’m not even sure if he gets named.
So from pacing and poor character development, my next criticism of the film is the lighting. It’s so dark that it’s hard to see what’s happening half of the time. Now, don’t get me wrong, given that the film takes place entirely within the confines of a hospital that has no windows, I’m not expecting a lot of natural light, but they didn’t even slightly take into account that you would need more than small lights to make the characters visible.
I was struggling to see what was happening and this, combined with poor acoustics, lead to a poor experience, and that’s before I even start taking the lackluster story into account.
The only saving grace of the film is the final few minutes when the two remaining characters are being chased by the infected, and every corner that they go around reveals another person to chase them. The scene probably only lasts about two or threes but in those two or three minutes, I was considerably more entertained that I had been in the previous eighty combined.
That’s really all I can say about the film before the summary. It’s so forgettable that I couldn’t even tell you where the DVD is now and I only watched it two days ago.
I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a film and been so “meh” about it. I was sat watching it and didn’t feel a single emotion all of the way through. I wasn’t disappointed that I was watching it, but I wasn’t particularly enjoying myself. I didn’t feel scared at any point, I wasn’t , but I also wasn’t bored. The best way that I could probably sum it up was that I was just looking in the vague direction of the screen and that was about it.
This film is so forgettable that it’s beyond believe. It’s been a few days since I watched the film and I can barely recall anything other than the ending and the odd bit here and there, I couldn’t tell you what happened in the majority of the film.
It’s the ultimate nothing film.