Deep Dark weaves a fable-like tale of artistic inspiration in claustrophobic environments with great restraint and minimalism. The film shows Hermann Haig, a failed artist who can’t generate any interest in his elaborate mobiles, his medium of choice. The film is one of many about the struggles of the creative process, yet the film sets itself apart with its intriguing set piece and monster: a talking hole in the wall of Hermann’s run-down apartment.
Deep Dark is mainly a dark fantasy film with elements of psychological drama. Although the talking hole plot sounds a bit silly, the film does it in a convincing way that captures the audience’s imagination.
The film is a slow burn, especially in the first act, but does a great job establishing characters. Despite the film’s relatively slow pace, it is instantly engaging due to its moody cinematography and well-written characters. Once the film gets going, it leaves the audience hooked for the rest of its lean runtime of 78 minutes.
Once the hole in the wall begins to communicate with Hermann, the audience is treated to the film’s creepy and often disturbing visuals. The wall spits out strange looking objects and grows in size, all of which are depicted in a minimal visual style that really works. Director Michael Medaglia has a unique vision that constantly spreads itself over the film’s story, visuals, and even the soundscape.
Sean McGrath is excellent as Hermann, and captures the audience’s cares and attention effortlessly. We start to like Hermann while he struggles as an artist and is pressured by his mother, and the audience only becomes more invested as Hermann begins to communicate with the mysterious hole.
Deep Dark is an imaginative, thought-provoking, and incredibly well done fantasy/horror film. Although it may bore some impatient viewers with its early lack of action and focus on character-building, the film slowly boils to a satisfyingly horrific ending. Deep Dark is a lean, tight, and all-around well made indie gem.