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Home > The Dark and the Wicked (2020): A Review

The Dark and the Wicked (2020): A Review

  • by Perez
The Dark and the Wicked

A Film With Chilling Ambiance

The Dark and the Wicked was a Shudder original released in 2020. It’s a psychological horror film that tells the story of a pair of siblings who visit their parents at their isolated farmhouse to help aid their mother in taking care of their sick father. It’s a good movie with effective scares, but it doesn’t rely too much on frightening imagery. Like the movies Hereditary and The VVitch, The Dark and the Wicked depends more on a tense atmosphere and a bleak tone to achieve its scares.

If it’s a collection of jump scares viewers are expecting, then they’re going to be disappointed. That doesn’t mean this is an unscary movie, which it most certainly is. It’s just highly recommended that viewers watch this with plenty of patience and use the time to appreciate the elements that make this a good horror film. The slow start, for one thing, is brilliantly done as it has a great use of suspense that can keep someone on the edge of their seat. Scares are subtly placed in different scenes with small changes like a chair moving on its own. There’s also moments where a character can startle others just with their presence. 

The scares soon begin to escalate as the nightmare scenario becomes too much to handle for the siblings. Things especially go overboard around the last act where every character is now being plagued by disturbing sights they will do anything to escape from. Because of the pace most of this film took, much of the horror is based on slow building tension and creepy details. So when everything does start to take a sharp turn towards shocking frights, viewers can be left with their heads spinning at the abrupt change. 

The Dark and the Wicked

The way audiences are caught off guard by more graphic imagery is done so in the almost ingenious manner the subtlety of the horror was displayed earlier. It’s as though this whole time viewers were anticipating what was to come without realizing. 

With the two sibling characters processing their own emotions throughout the movie, it can be hard to tell at first if these are supernatural forces at work or their own guilt and suffering manifesting. As demonic forces continue to make themselves known, everything can be considered a manifestation of all too real human emotions that are too complicated to face. As stated, the siblings go through regret and remorse which seems to fuel whatever is haunting them. The slow-burning dread that is presented from beginning to end could easily represent familial ties and resentment. 

To conclude The Dark and the Wicked is a great movie due to its haunting tone and tension that slowly but surely builds up for a crazy turn of events. Audiences will be patiently waiting on the edges of their seats for frightening images and scary monsters to make them jump right out of them. They certainly will since the more the characters face difficulty in coming to terms with their guilty emotions, the more of a lasting impression the movie will make with its monster.

The Dark and the Wicked

The Dark and the Wicked (2020) Official Shudder Trailer

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