The Horror Honeys: I Couldn't Come Up with a Non-Pun Title... So This is What You Get.

I Couldn't Come Up with a Non-Pun Title... So This is What You Get.

A Revenge Honey New Release Review by Linnie

POSTER LIES! There is NO gun in that shower scene.
The Dark Place (2014)

Here at the Horror Honeys, we are HUGE fans of LGBTQ horror. But with most horror that focuses on any non-heteronormative lifestyle, it's extremely self-aware. By that I mean, the characters being gay is part of the story. When you watch Ticked Off Trannies with Knives, the fact that the characters are transvestites or transexuals is quite obviously relevant to the plot. It is supremely rare that a horror film comes out where the fact that the main characters are gay isn't relevant in any meaningful way: they just... are. This brings us to Jody Wheeler's The Dark Place, an independent thriller that doesn't treat the character's sexuality as a gimmick. It's a wonderful change of pace. 

I just wished the film was a little bit better.

Which isn't to say I didn't like it. I actually loved it. But I also hated it. Please accept my advance apologies: this review is going to be highly confusing.

"Why are you listening to my heart so sensually, Dr. Stepdad?"
The Story: Keegan Dark (sigh, really?) is a bad boy with a perfect memory and the ability to visualize small details like a one-man CSI. After his father and brother die in a car accident when he is a teenager, he turns to drugs and breaks his vineyard-owning mother's heart. But on her birthday, he elects to return home to the family vineyard with his boyfriend in an attempt to make amends. However when he arrives, he finds his mother has remarried to a doctor she met on a cruise ship, and he comes with an extremely mustache-twirlingly evil son. Can Keegan unravel their diabolical plot before it's too late?

Ah, the "seriously, bitch?" face. I know it well.

To say that The Dark Place is slow-burn is an understatement. I don't use the B-word lightly, but I found myself slightly bored through the majority of the film's first act. The only thing that kept my attention were the film's stars, Blaise Embry as Keegan and Timo Descamps as his boyfriend Wil. Their delightfully amped up attitudes made the rest of the cast seem lifeless, which was a bit problematic. Former(ish) gay porn star Sean Paul Lockhart stars as the dastardly stepbrother Jake, who along with his father is hiding a massive secret. 

Visually insert mustache for twirling purposes.

"Massive secret" was not a gay joke, nor was it a pun. But the secret is also not that shocking given the rest of the film.

There is nothing particularly subtle about The Dark Place, but camp indie thrillers rarely are all that subtle. From sudden inexplicable comas to tasers that make Operation noises, from inept police officers to unnecessary shower scenes, Wheeler's movie begins as any other subpar horror/thriller, unless you count one very realistic gay sex scene, complete with lube and crying. 

Not sure why they're all in hoodies.

So why did I like it?

Because the third act of The Dark Place is perfection. When the script allows itself to find some humor in the sheer absurdity of the plot, it becomes highly entertaining. And a handful of hilarious situations, including Wil requesting that he and Keegan go in to couple's therapy while they're fighting off killers, allow for the kind of laughs you rarely find in a thriller. The film becomes self-aware only in that it treats Keegan and Wil like any other couple, which does set it apart from a lot of other thrillers I've seen in the LGBTQ genre. 

Is The Dark Place a good movie? Not really. But it IS a hell of a lot of fun.

Revenge Honey Rating: 3 Ridiculous Last Names out of 5