Entertainment Weekly invites you into the terrifying house from DARLING. Watch this behind-the-scenes clip with comments from writer-director Mickey Keating. Catch Darling in theaters this Friday!
By Chris Alexander at ShockTillYouDrop.com:
Review: Why DARLING is the Best Horror Movie of 2016
Filmmaker Mickey Keating’s deft fest hit is an indie horror landmark.
It’s not what you have.
It’s not the colors in the pallete.
It’s not the gear.
It’s not the tech.
It’s not the government funding. It’s not the marketing.
Art is none of these things.
No, art is simply the reflection of the artist, authentic and true and brave and bold and alive and visceral. Art is using whatever you have at your disposal to project the dreams and nightmares and hopes and fears and horrors and truths and fantasies you want to share in ways that are pure. In ways that are yours, unique to you.
The movie we’re chiefly here to discuss today, right now…It’s an immaculate work of art and one of the most affecting horror movies I’ve ever seen.
As you already know, that picture is director Mickey Keating’s poisonous psychodrama DARLING, a movie that breaks rules and is filled with so much innovation and such daring, deceivingly simple vision, that I actually yelled out loud as it un-spooled, shouting in excitement and a joy stemming from the revelation that the people that made it were not only making an auteur horror movie that was progressive and meaningful, but that a third party was backing the movie, distributing it and ensuring that people saw the movie and knew it existed.
DARLING. Sweet, horrible, savage DARLING.
Imagine early incarnations of David Lynch, Roman Polanski, Lars von Trier and Guy Maddin on a three day meth bender in one of Stanley Kubrick’s suites at The Overlook Hotel and you’ll get a sense of DARLING’s mission statement. Made for very little money with a skeletal cast on spare locations (primarily a looming house in what I think might be upstate New York), DARLING casts the doe-eyed Lauren Ashley Carter (JUG FACE) as an obviously disturbed girl who accepts a position as the caretaker at posh mansion owned by an elegant, icy and presumably wealthy woman (BLADE RUNNER’s Sean Young, looking great and a welcome presence back on the screen). Like Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance at the aforementioned Overlook in Kubrick’s impossibly influential THE SHINING, it’s clear that Carter is crackers from frame one. But considering the home’s haunted history, it’s a given that she’ll go even madder as the movie progresses. And she does.
My god, does she.
DARLING is co-produced by the great Larry Fessenden, who also appears in the film, a product of his Glass Eye Pix, a company that almost always makes interesting, modestly budgeted and wholly original horror films.
But here, backing Keating’s vision, they may have made their first real deal masterpiece.
DARLING is a perfect movie in its imperfection. It’s a movie that bends rules and defies expectations and always remains a messy, personal primal scream of a picture. It’s most assuredly a work of dark, seething art and, as the hyperbolic headline of this review screamed, it’s the best horror movie of 2016.
Well, so far, anyway.
But I can’t imagine it will get any better than this.
Then again, I haven’t seen Keating’s Sundance hit CARNAGE PARK yet…
Look for DARLING when it opens theatrically and on VOD on April 8th.
Keep Your Eyes Open…
DARLING, directed by Mickey Keating, starring Lauren Ashley Carter, is only one week away!
By Jeremy Kay
EXCLUSIVE: The director of Sundance selection Carnage Park has unveiled the cast on his fifth feature, which recently wrapped principal photography.
Ashley Bell, Angela Trimbur, Mark Kassen, Ivana Shein, and James Landry Hébert (pictured) have joined previously announced Jeremy Gardner, Helen Rogers, and Larry Fessenden.
Keating wrote and directed Psychopaths, which follows several serial killers over the course of a single night.
Jenn Wexler produced alongside William Day Frank, Keating, and Cam McLellan and Al Lewison for Bad Camal. Fessenden serves as executive producer for Glass Eye Pix.
Keating’s most recent film Carnage Park premiered in Park City in January and is sold internationally by Content Media. The film-maker’s credits include Ritual, Pod, and Darling.
Reviews are in for Mickey Keating’s DARLING, starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Brian Morvant, Sean Young, and Fessenden.
“Filled with gorgeous black and white cinematography,
disjointed and off-kilter soundtrack choices,whispering voices, shocking violence, and subliminal edits
(not to mention an ever growing sense of dread),DARLING is the perfect fusion of arthouse and grind house…
the performance of lead actress Lauren Ashley Carter really hits this one home.5 stars / 5″
and Lauren Ashley Carter’s stellar performance simply can not be ignored.
Bloody Disgusting scoops the newest casting news on Mickey Keating’s currently-in-production PSYCHOPATHS.
“Bloody Disgusting was able to exclusively nab the first batch of casting, which include all sorts of genre vets from The Battery director Jeremy Gardner to Graham Skipper (The Mind’s Eye, Almost Human), Helen Rogers (V/H/S, Body), Matt Mercer (Contracted, Madison County, The Mind’s Eye), Larry Fessenden (Southbound, The Mind’s Eye, In a Valley of Violence), and Shudder curator Sam Zimmerman.”
Poster Art for Mickey Keating’s PSYCHOPATHS Revealed
Mickey Keating starts production on his 5th feature film this month in Los Angeles, CA. PSYCHOPATHS, a sprawling, psychedelic ensemble piece, follows several serial killers over the course of a single night. The film is written & directed by Keating, who previously wrote & directed RITUAL (Lionsgate / After Dark Films), POD (Vertical Entertainment), DARLING (coming to theaters April 1st from Screen Media), and CARNAGE PARK, which had its world premiere at Sundance 2016. PSYCHOPATHS is produced by Jenn Wexler, William Day Frank, and Keating, with Cam McLellan and Al Lewison producing for Bad Camal and Larry Fessenden executive producing for Glass Eye Pix.
Luiz H.C. over at Bloody Disgusting reviews Mickey Keating’s DARLING, calling Keating’s direction “…inspired, with German expressionist undertones and classic horror atmosphere permeating every scene.” DARLING hits theaters on April 1st and iTunes on April 8th.
From Bloody Disgusting:
In a world full of soulless remakes and unnecessary sequels, it’s good to have a robust indie market to fulfill our more obscure horror needs. There is a dark side to independent filmmaking, however, as most of these films walk a fine line between artsy trash and low budget masterpieces. In Mickey Keating’s Darling, we’re presented with a mesmerizing experience that knows which side of the line it’s on, due in no small part to Lauren Ashley Carter’s amazing work as the unnamed protagonist.
The story follows a troubled young woman that becomes the caretaker for a mysterious New York mansion with a dark past. Left to her own devices by the mansion’s owners and tormented by confusing visions and nightmares, the woman begins to lose her mind as she encounters impossibly familiar faces on the street and deals with terrifying memories. Seemingly trapped by the house, she is left with no choice but to descend into madness.
It may not be the world’s most complex story, but the screenplay seems almost superfluous in a film that relies so heavily on visual storytelling. In fact, there is very little dialogue in the movie, and the few lines that are spoken are so ambiguous that they sometimes leave you with more questions than answers. This works in Darling’s favor, as the viewer is never quite sure if either the house or the leading lady is responsible for the horrific events depicted onscreen.
Although Darling boasts a modest budget, the cast and production values are phenomenal. There are only a couple of defined characters here, but their interaction (or lack thereof) helps to sell the protagonist’s extreme isolation, despite living in a metropolis. In the end, Carter does steal the show, but Sean Young and Brian Morvant are also excellent in their small but effective roles. Larry Fessenden also has a small cameo towards the end, which is always a pleasant surprise.
Mickey Keating’s direction is also inspired, with German expressionist undertones and classic horror atmosphere permeating every scene. The monochrome visuals may be off-putting to some, but they are masterfully used here, enhancing some of the gothic imagery instead of looking cheap. Darling does have some pacing problems, but the slower scenes are almost all done in service of mood and atmosphere, so these moments are easy to forgive.
There may be quite a few other films out there with a similar premise, but Darling is too charming and impactful to criticized for being derivative. The minimalist script and direction leave you mesmerized, and Lauren Ashley Carter’s stellar performance simply can not be ignored. It may not be a perfect horror film, but it’s damn good one, and I hope to see more of Keating and Carter in the future.