STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS (2004)
D. Jeff Burr
This horrors of way style film from director Jeff Burr is a pretty impressive accomplishment. Though an intimate and small character driven film the logistics of the movie spread out all over with lots of big set pieces, cast and production design. It is far from a small movie.
The film opens in 1945 with two soldiers being taken to the prison camp for desertion. Losey (Ryan Francis) is a quiet and demure man, with hard morals about peace. The other man Demming (Scott Macdonald) is loud, cruel and the direct opposite. Through a twist of fate they both of them end up free of the MP's and go on a cross country trek to escape. The eventually land at a small villa with an elderly man (David Warner) his wife and many small children they have trained to be killers. A Nazi tank battalion corners them all and a huge fight takes up the last quarter of the film.
The film is certainly reminiscent of Burr's final segment in the anthology film FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM (aka THE OFFSPRING) in which during the Civil War a troupe of children survived by being vicious killers and cannibals. Here Burr has taken the horror elements of the story down a few notches and replaced it with the fallout ofwar. His style has also changed as the movie is (to its detriment) filled with flashy montages and dream sequences that make the movie feel slower than it is.
Still if is an impressive film and the children are all superb in their roles. It is a nice change of pace from a director who was becoming all to well known for the PUPPETMASTER sequels.
Review © Andrew Copp