The Dark and the Wicked, 2020 – ★★★★

Talk about slow-burn and bleak, The Dark and The Wicked pulls no punches, and puts you right into the bewildering mind of brother and sister Louise and Michael, (Marin Ireland & Michael Abbott, Jr). Like The Relic earlier this year, much of the horror is milked from the reality of a horrible situation, caring for dying parents when you know there’s nothing you can do to help. I think the recent crop of movies on this heme have much to do with the fact that Gen X & Millennials are among the first generations whose quality of living is lower than their parents, and the thought of how we will care for our aging parents is at the forefront of a lot of our minds. We will, thankfully, not also have to deal with a demonic presence coming for them and those we love, as Louise and Michael do. This film takes so many abrupt left turns, and steadfastly refuses to give you any solid ground to stand on. The moment we think we know something, it’s taken away, including a brutally bleak suicide. We get to see great performances all around, including Xander Berkley (Candyman, among many others) audition for the future role of Reverend Kane. Dark, upsetting, frightening (even if they did briefly resort to Jacob’s Ladder head shaking), and all too real.

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