A Dark Path is a bit of an odd duck.
On one hand, it’s clearly a horror movie. The poster looks like it’s promoting a horror movie. The tag line “The Last Noise You’ll Hear Is Your Own Scream” is very Alien-ish, so once again, horror.
The movie itself? Not so much. In fact it’s fascinating how much it seems to hate what it is. Initially I thought that it was built upon a similar model as Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975) in that the monster – in that instance a shark – was hidden a good percentage of the movie.
Though instead of the Spielberg’s ultimately satisfying delay of gratification we get a movie that – even when it decides to grace us with a glimpse at it’s horrors – they’re so pedestrian and visually indistinct that you could actually be looking at the creature and still not know what it looks like in any sort of detail because it looks like it’s coated in a mixture of mud and oil. And let’s be clear: If there were a reason for it to look the way it did way I could get behind it.
It’s worth mentioning that this is a somewhat similar dynamic to Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) though while that movie appeared to have a cinematographer that was unaware that people can’t see in virtually total darkness this one at least made only the creature visually indistinct, as opposed to an section of the movie.
And as far as our oily protagonist is concerned, why couldn’t the movie take place on a haunted oil rig or something of that nature? Though otherwise? It doesn’t make much in the way of sense, never mind visually.
The really odd choices made in terms of the creature design, combined with the relatively small amount of time it actually appears makes the movie feel as if the director were less interested in making a horror movie than a thriller that revolves around two sisters making their way through a creepy forest.
And I don’t think that that necessarily a bad idea in that Makenna Guyler (Abi) and Mari Beaseley (Lilly) are pretty engaging as two sisters on different paths in there lives.
Though treating it as if it were some sort of creature feature?
Not cool. Not cool at all.