Edges of Darkness Movie Review

Written by Steve Pattee

DVD released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

I'm so sick of these motherfucking zombies, there's motherfucking arm bones in the yard! – Stan

Written and directed by Jason Horton and Blaine Cade
2009, 87 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on September 22nd, 2009

Starring:
Alonzo Jones as Stan

Shamika Ann Franklin as Stellie
Annemarie Pazmino as Natalie
Jay Costelo as Dean
Michelle Rose as Heather
Alisha Gaddis as Dana
Lee Perkins as Paul

Review:

In the world of low-budget filmmaking, zombie movies are a dime a dozen. Hell, it's probably more like a penny a bushel. Zombies are easy to come by (providing you have friends or access to Craigs List), simple enough to make up and, if you have yourself a solid location or three, BAM!, indie walking dead flick.

The problem, though, is most of them suck. Having a camera, some friends, a makeup kit and a half assed script does not make a good zombie movie. So we, as fans, are stuck with wading through the armies of shitty walking dead movies until we get to something like Edges of Darkness. And, suddenly, we realize things aren't so bad after all.

Edges of Darkness is interesting in that its trailer (and box cover) suggest it's another run-of-the-mill zombie flick, but, ironically, the zombies are barely part of the story. Rather they are simply an obstacle of the main characters.

The dead have risen in Edges of Darkness and have surrounded, among other places, an apartment complex that houses our seven main characters: Two couples and a group of three strangers thrown together at the beginning of the movie by circumstance — well, eight if you include the girl one of the couples…acquires. It seems, with the exception of the writer, Dean (Jay Costelo) on the first floor — who is documenting this disaster — none of the people are aware of each other. The fact that Dean knows of the others to write about them is mysteriously unexplained.

How do you review a movie that you want to talk about, and at the same time spoil nothing? That's the problem with Edges of Darkness. It has a storyline in such that if you talk about virtually any part of it, you ruin little surprises for the unsuspecting viewer. The best analogy I can make to Darkness is Neil Marshall's movie, Doomsday, and even doing so is dangerously close to giving something away.

In Doomsday, every aspect of the action genre — apocalyptic, fantasy, horror, futuristic — is thrown against the wall and what stuck was filmed. I was one of those that happened to love Doomsday because Marshall basically made the movie that every 13-year-old boy wants to make given millions of dollars, and it worked. It was just stupid fun.

Edges of Darkness is similar to Doomsday in the regards that it takes many creatures from different horror sub-genres and surprisingly integrates the beasties in so well, the zombie aspect of the film becomes almost irrelevant — its only importance is keeping the characters more-or-less confined to the apartments. And, like the genre mash-up in Doomsday, it really, really works, especially as the story develops.

The weakest link of the film is Dean's story. As the person who is apparently writing this tale, it is unclear how he knows everything going on, especially since he never leaves his apartment. I suppose this is one of things left open for debate — is everything in his head, and outside of the zombies and Dean and his wife, nothing else exists? Or is there another supernatural element at play, where he is able to see everything going on? Who knows, but the movie isn't that deep, so it shouldn't be dwelled on too much.

The acting across the board is adequate, with the standout being Alonzo Jones as Stan, who is seemingly always angry. While his dialogue consists of more "mother fucks" than necessary, he steals each scene he's in, providing (intentional) comedic relief many times throughout the film.



Edges of Darkness is one of those films that does the absolute best of what it has. The locations are obviously limited, but the solid story and competent acting makes it stand out head and shoulders above the majority of low-budget zombie flicks out there. Check this one out.

Video, Audio and Special Features:

Not graded as this is a screener.

Grades:


Movie: 3.5 Stars
Video: n/a
Audio: n/a
Features: n/a
Overall: 3.5 Stars

You can purchase Edges of Darkness at Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Want to comment on this review? Head over to the Horrortalk Review Forum.

About The Author
Steve Pattee
Author: Steve Pattee
Administrator, US Editor
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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