Darkness Rising, from director Austin Reading, follows a group of idiots who break into their friend’s abandoned childhood home only to be plagued by ghosts. Spooky stuff happens. People die, probably. I’m not sure. The page 10 moment happened three minutes in, and consisted entirely of Ted Raimi in old-timey clothes playing hide and seek with a little girl, the girl wandering off, Ted finding the little girl staring at something off-camera in some wavy air thing, and then the girl screaming at whatever it is they’re looking at. That’s it. A bad game of hide-and-seek and screaming at stuff off-camera. That’s your hook, people.
Ted Raimi deserves better.
I’m noticing a pattern in all these horror movies available on Netflix. Lot of them open with these too long or too short opening sequences where nothing actually happens. Like, at best, you get what happens here, which is this tease of something happening. But it all happens off-camera, because they didn’t have the money to show you anything but wanted to pretend like they were actually trying to be ambiguous, or mysterious. But all they really did was give you the finger
“Sees, screams spooky shit off-camera” isn’t a plot point in and of itself, goddammit. It’s like nobody takes into account context and dramatic build-up when they steal the opening scene to Ghostbusters.
I skimmed through the rest of the movie. It’s just a haunted house movie with a really stupid, convoluted reason for them to be in it. And far as I can tell, Ted Raimi doesn’t even show up in the rest of it. It’s just these kids in the modern day getting what they deserve. So why Ted Raimi? Why a little girl and hide and seek in the past? Did Ted Raimi just show up to set one day lookin’ dapper as shit and ask to be in the movie? Like, they didn’t have a part for him. So they just made this shit up and stuck it in, cuz it’s fuckin’ Ted Raimi. You can’t have him show up out of the blue and *not* put him in your movie, no matter how pointless and stupid the scene you make up for him is.
I do kinda like how the opening sequence doesn’t make sense with or without the context of the rest of the movie.
Like, I’m imagining being on set, watching them shoot this scene. And I turn to Austin, and say, “Hey. So, what are they supposed to be screamin’ at?”
And Austin just looks at me like actual human shit just came out of my mouth. And he says, “Spooky shit. Doesn’t matter.”
Darkness Rising gets a 10 out of 10 just for Ted Raimi. I wouldn’t recommend anyone actually watch it. It’s probably terrible all the way through. But it has Ted in it, and that’s cool.