Movie Review – The Darkness Within (2009)

The Darkness Within (2009) ReviewDirector: Dom Portalla
Writer: Dom Portalla
Stars: Jimmy Scanlon, Ken Flott and Michelle Romano

A young couple move into a new apartment only to find that their neighbor is a peeping Tom. If they don’t unlock the secret to this mysterious voyeur soon, they may lose everything, including their minds.

I contacted the director to get a copy of the film to review. Am I ever glad that I did that. The film was pretty spectacular given the budget. Budget aside, the film was still a great watch.

Ever had the feeling you were being watched? This is the tagline from Dom Portalla’s film, The Darkness Within. You begin with an innocent enough plot, but you always know that there is something going on beneath the scenes.

You have a young couple looking to leave their past behind, so they move into a new place that we are to believe is far away from home. Upon their arrival, they meet their new neighbor, who is a strange one to say the least. As the plot thickens and the suspense builds, you know that something is not right, but you can never put your finger on it.

I love stories like these that slowly develop and keep you guessing which way the director is going with the film. Besides the story, the camera work is also another bonus to this movie. Camera angles are used effectively throughout the film without being overused. It is truly an art form that many people do not understand.

Also, the characters are well developed and interesting indeed. I could listen to the banter between Jordan and Dixon all day long. They work great together and I was very impressed with Stephanie Maheu. Michelle Romano, as one of the leads, Ashley Sera, was also another well-cast actress that did a great job with her role.

This movie is definitely a psychological thriller that plays tricks with your mind and gives puts you in the scenes trying to figure out who is telling the truth and what everyone’s motives truly are. When the story begins to unravel, it is done effectively and leaves you with a sense of having watching a really good film.

For those of you who are interested in purchasing a copy of this film (and I highly suggest that you do), the director passed this link along –

Chad Morgan and Ashley Sera are starting their new life together. They’ve recently gotten engaged and have moved into an apartment in a new town. Everything is seemingly perfect; except for one thing their next-door neighbor, Mr. Reed. After a bizarre encounter, Chad begins to realize that if he doesn’t unlock the secret to this mysterious voyeur soon, he may lose everything – including his mind.

  • Thanks so much again for the ink, Mike (and also to James for the comment below). Can’t convey how much we all truly appreciate the blogosphere for really lifting the flick up and helping it find an audience. With such a small budget and no real marketing campaign, the fact that people have seen it at all is a testament to the power of ‘word-of-mouth’. You guys rock.

  • They sure did on this one. Like you, I watch so many forgettable movies, so it is nice to see one stick out.

  • I got a screener of this also. Like you I did not expect much. Boy was I wrong. This film works. It builds up the characters and story, and around the last twenty minutes it gives you a reason to re watch it, and see if there was any clues you could have seen…this ending i do not care who you are..or how many horror films, thrillers you have watched..these indie guys got it right. They packed a wallop. That noone will see coming

  • Well done and well deserved.

  • thank you for the support and the kind words sir!