While the 2015 (released) British feature Dark Vision hues closely to the cinematic rhythms already established by such films as (the original and the reimagining of) House on Haunted Hill, the Paranormal Activity series and even (my un-guilty pleasure) Halloween: Resurrection, it has plenty of assured performances, seemingly lifted from the West End theater district, and some truly arresting visuals, with a pentagram of beautifully lighted candles, chief among them.
Focusing on a paranormal investigation team, led by pompous host Spencer Knights, competing to be the victors in a reality show contest, Dark Vision’s primary activities occur in the mysterious Blaylock House. When Knights, accidentally, unleashes the evil forces within the building, no one is safe from the hooded threat of occult vengeance.
Not surprisingly, as it is the performances that truly engage here, actor Bernie Hodges brings a silly grandeur to Knights. Nicely, Hodges, also, adds a graceful bittersweet quality to Knights when he realizes the deadly error of his ways. Director and co-writer Darren Flaxstone eases plenty of graceful charm out of leading actresses Suzie Latham (Jo) and Alicia Ancel (Marva Clewes), as well. That the lesbian relationship between the two is affectionate and true, and not played for exploitation value, is among Dark Vision’s top pleasures. Ancel’s character, a faded soap actress, also allows some nice commentary on the extremely fickle, often desperate, world of show business.
But, it is Judith Haley, as the Blaylock House’s guardian Clem, who truly steals the show here. She plays the character’s ominous stranger aspects for all they are worth while adding terrific shades of humor and honor to boot!
Keep abreast of everything Dark Vision, which has its worldwide release on ITunes, Xbox Vudu and Playstation on March 24 and has recently gone live on Amazon at:
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!