Episode 141 – A Dark Song

It’s the best time of the year once again! Cole-o-ween 2020 is upon us and to kick off the proceedings I have chosen one of my favorite horror films from the last few years, A Dark Song (Gavin, 2016). This is a harrowing and incisive portrait of a woman consumed with grief after the loss of her son. Bereft of all other hope, she turns to magick for resolution. This is such an assured and well executed debut feature. It’s full of interesting ideas and nowhere does Liam Gavin resort to short cuts or clich├ęs to put them across. We are right there, side by side with her, as she endures the blood, sweat, and tears necessary to complete this ritual. It is a grueling, rigorous process and we, the audience, are not spared either.

A Dark Song belongs to a subset of contemporary horror films that I am really enjoying lately. There is a crop of films that all share a certain melancholy, mournful sensibility. It’s an embrace of this idea that loss, regret, and complicity are what is truly horrifying in our lives and that is really resonating with me right now. I love the minor key feeling and appreciate the subdued nature of these films. It doesn’t always take rollercoaster shocks, jump scares, or monumental violence. Sometimes the storms of our own internal landscapes are enough.

What you’ll find in this episode: grim determination, guardian angels, duplicity, revenge, and bathtub misadventures.

– Cole

Links and Recommendations:
Check out A Dark Song on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of Requiem.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Starry Eyes.
A brief description of the Abramelin Operation, the ritual that is central to the film.
A brief interview with Liam Gavin and Steve Oram on the development and production of the film.

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