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.
Screen Media Films has picked up worldwide acquisition rights for the Mickey Keating-directed GEP flick, DARLING. From the Indiewire News Release:
After a weekend of negotiations following its Fantastic Fest premiere on Friday night, Screen Media Films has landed worldwide acquisition rights to Mickey Keating’s “Darling,” starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Young, Larry Fessenden and Brian Morvant.
“Darling” stars Carter as a young woman who goes crazy after taking a caretaker job at an ancient home in New York.
“Very few movies can make me incredibly uncomfortable while fascinating me,” said Seth Needle, Director of Worldwide Acquisitions, Screen Media Films. “Mickey Keating’s terrific film does just that, while paying homage to some of my absolute favorite genre films. I couldn’t be happier to be involved with distributing this one.”
“‘Darling’ is a love letter to those chilling, old-school horror films that get under your skin and stay there,” added Keating. “I’m thrilled and honored to be teaming up with Screen Media to cause some serious nightmares for audiences around the globe.”
The deal was negotiated by Needle at Screen Media, with Bill Straus of newly formed Bridge Independent on behalf of the filmmakers. Screen Media Films will release the film in theaters in early 2016.
Fangoria’s got a brand new poster for Mickey Keating’s DARLING, which Fangoria describes as:
Written and directed by Mickey Keating, whose POD just saw release (see story here), DARLING stars JUG FACE’s Lauren Ashley Carter as a young woman who takes a job as a caretaker in a mysterious Manhattan mansion, where the last person to have the job committed suicide and her own sanity begins to crumble. The cast also includes Brian Morvant, Sean Young, Larry Fessenden, John Speredakos and Helen Rogers, and the film was produced by Fessenden, Jenn Wexler, Sean Fowler, Keating and Carter.
For the full post and an exclusive image, head to Fangoria.
BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD in theaters! Exclusive clip on iTunes! HELLBENDERS in theaters! JUG FACE on Blu-ray/DVD! And much more…
Ain’t It Cool News is reviewing the new season of Tales From Beyond the Pale, and this week their review focuses on Kim Newman’s “Sarah Minds The Dog” and Glenn McQuaid’s “The Crush”. Head to AintItCool.com to check out the whole post.
“ANNO DRACULA’s Kim Newman brings forth a wicked tale of a dog walker who finds herself in a predicament, solves it, and then finds herself in another one. I want to be vague because the fun is in the Continue Reading »
JUG FACE, featuring Fessenden alongside Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Bridgers, Sean Young, and Daniel Manche, is coming to DVD and Blu-ray this October!
“MVD Entertainment Group and Modern Distributors announced today that the Slamdance Film Festival favorite JUG FACE, written and directed by Chad Crawford Kinkle, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on October 15th, 2013. The film was produced by Andrew van den Houten (“Funeral Kings,” ‘’The Woman”) and Robert Tonino (‘’Home Movie,” “The Girl Next Door”) for Modernciné, Continue Reading »
“On Friday the 13th, those Masters of Horror, Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid released the second season of their excellent, radio drama series Tales from Beyond the Pale.
Tales… follows in a similar tradition to E.C. Comics Tales from the Crypt, or those wonderful portmanteau horror movies produced by Amicus Productions in 1960s and 1970s, Doctor Terror’s House of Horrors, Torture Garden, The House That Dripped Blood, Asylum and Vault of Horror.
Glenn and Larry were inspired to create Tales… after Continue Reading »
From Brian Truitt at USA TODAY:
Check out an exclusive first listen at the episode from the upcoming second season of ‘Tales from Beyond the Pale.’
Simon Barrett unleashed a trio of masked killers on an unsuspecting family — and moviegoing public — as the screenwriter of the current horror film You’re Next, and next month he puts a college DJ through hell in old-school Hollywood fashion.
Dead Air, written and directed by Barrett, is part of the second season of Tales from Continue Reading »
Image Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images
From Clark Collis at Entertainment Weekly:
Director Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix company has announced that season 2 of the horror-themed Tales from Beyond the Pale audio play series will be released on the suitably spooky date of Friday, Sept. 13. The second batch of terror tales was recorded live in New York and features actors Sean Young, Vincent D’Onofrio, James LeGros (Living in Oblivion, Girls), and Kate Lyn Sheil (Sun Don’t Shine), among others. “Having a Continue Reading »