Deep Dark is comically and disturbingly weird and revels in it.
Deep Dark is a supernatural weird fantasy horror that will certainly fall within the scope of weirdest films you want to see. It’s comical, it’s a bit of satire, it’s horror but above all it’s highly original and weird. The latter being the key word of the film.
It’s a film that parodies artists, art, art dealers and exploitation and mixes it up with a bizarre hole in the wall. It’s a film that has a required taste and not everyone will like it. It requires a specific kind of humor and you have to be open to weirdness to appreciate what has been done here. But if you do, then you’re in for a totally weird experience with teeth.
Hermann Haig is an artist. Or rather he wants to be. All his life he knows he’s been born to be an artist, a sculptor, but somewhere along the way, somehow it all went wrong and he didn’t succeed so far. While he’s in his thirties, he still lives with his mother who rents out his bedroom. After a humiliation by his enemy/competitive artist Joel he grabs the last straw. He rents the apartment of his uncle Felix who is a rich artist who exploits people but maybe he can help. And he does.
In the apartment he finds a little hole in the wall. That hole spits out or excretes pods and with those Hermann makes the most beautiful enchanting mobiles whom he sells to the art gallery owned by Devora Klein. Now he has made it as an artist, he slowly begins to realize that everything comes at a price.
Why you should watch it
If you like small independent films, that think out of the box, that has their own unique style and voice and atmosphere and go all out to be weird, then this is the one for you. It has weirdness all over it. The humor and comical events are evenly weird, also a bit sad but odd. The horror is weird, but the hole in the wall is definitely absolutely weird.
First he finds the hole, that has a piece of string sticking out of it. When Hermann pulls at it, he finds a piece of paper attached to it with words or a sentence on it that says the hole will help him.
But it gets weirder when the hole starts to talk to him. There’s not doubt about it that it is not all in his mind, that it is not all symbolic. No, all of it is real, although the hole can be seen metaphorically. The hole is his opportunity to make it as an artist. It’s what he always wanted. He even thinks it’s the only thing he is good at.
Well, let’s hope not, cause he isn’t only naive, but stinks as an artist. Not only are his created mobiles bad but they also fall apart every time. Hermann is a naive but likable character and you know the moment he finds that hole and wants to make advantage of it, it will not end well. And it doesn’t.
His relationship with the hole, that has a female voice is, again, weird. It’s comical but also very disturbing and the hole is exploiting him instead of the other way round. This is also a nice turn of the gender roles, where normally women are exploited or abused by men. Which doesn’t mean it can’t happen to men either. Especially when they have big but impossible dreams, and are as naive as Hermann.
His character is well played and you really feel for him. He is a slapstick comedy character but also a tragic figure who suddenly finds himself in a horror film. But although the hole only has a voice, her character comes to life in a very disturbing way. She’s sensual, jealous, mean and she has teeth.
The pods she excretes are wet, slippery and slimy and gross and it makes you feel very uncomfortable. Many shots are from her point of view, shot with a fish-eye-lens making it a strange and surreal view on Hermann and the events. The dark humor is never far away and is always present when disturbing things are happening.
Deep Dark is a weird quirky film that becomes stranger and more disturbing along the way and ultimately leads to death, mayhem and a bit of gore. Although not fully executed in a consistent tone similar to the film, the ending wants to go full out, but is sometimes a hit and miss. Nevertheless, it’s a well-made film that is entertaining, and disturbing and deserves credit for it’s originality and creativity.
My favorite part
The hole has teeth and isn’t afraid to use it. But Hermann has some metaphorical teeth too and isn’t afraid to use them, although he shouldn’t. The scene where he desperately tries to impress Devora with his art installation of a huge mobile made out of blood bags and he has even hung himself in it, twirling around is so disturbingly funny and sad.
That scene really describes his optimism, his belief in himself being a great artist, and his desperation to be seen as such. It is very tragic and funny.
And when it all goes wrong in a bad way it’s just over the top fun. It’s messy, it’s bloody and it is a symbol of his failed attempt of being an artist, which he is not, and will never be. You can’t force creativity but it isn’t a divine gift either. But it certainly doesn’t just magically come out of a wall.
Fun factor: ★★★★☆
Gore factor: ★★☆☆☆
Originality factor: ★★★★★
Entertainment factor: ★★★★☆
Cast and crew
Deep Dark is directed and written by Michael Medaglia. It stars Sean McGrath (Hermann), Anne Source (Devora), Denise Poirier (The Hole, voice), Tabor Helton (Joel), Monica Graves (Layla), Mary McDonald-Lewis (Hermann’s mother) and John Nielsen (Felix).
Duration: 79 minutes. Music: Keith Schreiner. Cinematography: Francisco Bulgarelli. Edited by: Josh Beal.