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.