An unusual story of a single black magic ritual that takes place over the course of six months, A Dark Song heralds the arrival of an individual and idiosyncratic voice within the horror genre. Structured around a single, grueling ceremony, the film follows two strangers as locked in a remote house, testing the limits of their physical and mental breaking points by trying to conjure a guardian angel who will grant them each an impossible wish. Catherine Walker stars as Sophia, a woman drowning in her grief over the death of her young son. In over her head but willing to do whatever it takes to see him again, she recruits Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram; SUFF 2016’s AAAAAAAAAH!), an experienced but aggressive practitioner of the dark arts who wields his superior knowledge with contempt. While A Dark Song might be soaked in sorcery, its true magic lies in its construction: shot in just 20 days in and around Dublin, the movie has a spare, simple style and rhythms that mimic the characters’ steady and strong, racing and faint, irregular and jumpy heartbeats. Best experienced knowing as little as possible, this debut from Liam Gavin is a clever puzzle that’s bound to frighten and astound.
A Dark Song | Dir. Liam Gavin | Horror | 100mins | Ireland | 2016 | Sydney Premiere
“Wow. Literally, A Dark Song was intense as all Hell. It’s the perfect stormy night feature that will leave you shaken long after the credits roll. I can’t rave about this movie enough. 9/10.”
"Black magic rituals have long been a regular fixture in horror movies, but few have tackled the subject with quite the same level of forensic detail as A Dark Song."