Monday, November 28, 2016

"Dark Cove" (2016) Review

            Any film that opens with some friends burying a tarp wrapped body in the woods and swearing to keep a secret is bound to pique my interest. When "Dark Cove" rewinds to give you the back story, an interesting twist on a familiar sub-genre crawls out of it's shallow grave.

            Canadian lensed (and featuring a lot of BC's natural beauty) "Dark Cove" opens with the old standby--a group of twenty-somethings heading out for a weekend on the beach with plenty of: booze, drugs, and nubile flesh. But once our merry band of youngsters meet a trio of Aussie surfers to party with, things get a teensy bit complicated.

            Some psycho-active drugs, a thwarted assault, and a brutal beating later, and people are soon burying corpses, swinging axes, destroying evidence, and embracing their inner maniac in this taut feature.

            Boasting a gorgeous cast of newcomers (save for writer/director/editor and male lead Rob Willey), "Dark Cove" is a really impressive, beautifully shot and scripted feature. Everything comes off as very authentic, the interplay between the characters, and the dialogue is actually how people talk (at one point they even make fun of American accents)! Something that is often sorely lacking in films at this price point. Montana McNalley and Eliot Bayne particularly stand out as Jen and Ian respectively, and the whole ensemble cast delivers impressive performances.

            Technically, the film is top notch. Great lighting, even sound, crisp edits, and a effective sound design are all present and make for a great viewing experience. The script moves along at a nice pace, never lagging or allowing the viewer's interest to wander while setting up the ultra violent third act.

            There's a few knocks, sure, mostly the nonchalant way everyone agrees to cover up a murder, but other than that, "Dark Cove" is pretty error free.

            "Dark Cove", ultimately, is a violent, gory, original film that, with a great cast and some expert direction, ratchets up a Hitchcock-ian tension before blowing up into an orgy of axe-wielding mayhem. Watch it. Watch it with the lights off.

--Scream King Tom

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