Film Pulse Score

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Release Date: September 27, 2013 (Limited and VOD)
MPAA Rating: NR
Film Pulse Score: 5/10

Dark Touch cannot be written about without making comparisons to Brian de Palma’s 1976 horror classic, Carrie.  The comparisons are warranted on two main accounts – first, the young girl at the center of writer-director Marina de Van’s story also has telekinetic powers and second, there is a history of abuse in the girl’s past and as in Carrie, it is parental here as well.  Dark Touch is more mysterious and darker in tone than Carrie and far less expositive; this makes it a more difficult film to understand and more non-relatable. 

The film opens with Niamh (Maria Missy Keating) running to a neighbor’s house.  She is terrified, but of what or of whom it is not entirely clear.  The neighbors are played by Padriac Delany and Marcella Plunket and they will become even more important to the story when Niamh’s parents are killed another 15 minutes into the movie.  It is a gruesome scene and well-choreographed.  Niamh claims “the house” killed her parents, and indeed it looks like that is true, but we know that it was Niamh and her powers.

After this traumatic opening, the film slows way down and we follow Niamh as the neighbor couple takes Niamh in and tries to provide her with a normal existence, not realizing that there is little to nothing normal about her.  What becomes increasingly frightening is the way Niamh conducts herself around other children in the neighborhood.  Without giving too much away, I think I can say that the children at first seem frightened of her and then become increasingly interested in being around her.  The effect Niamh has on other children is one of the most interesting and unsettling series of moments throughout the film.

Through a series of quiet, creepy moments and shocking, unnerving moments, de Van’s film takes the audience on a wild ride through Niamh’s tragic past and unsettling present.  Keeping the film grounded are the performances of Keating as Niamh and Delany and Plunket as the neighborly couple seeking to keep Niamh from harming herself and others.  Sadly, the couple will fail at that though I refuse to say how so.  Instead, people should find this film and take the 90 minutes out of your busy schedule to experience the, well, the experience of the film – because it is something to be experienced rather than watched, per se.  This is especially true of the film’s last ten minutes or so which are very hard to watch and accept.

One Response to “DARK TOUCH Review”

  1. I can’t count the number of “the outcast-child with mommy or daddy-issues that somehow develops supernatural powers and takes revenge on all who have wronged them” unforgettable movies that I have seen…Literally, I can’t count them because they were unforgettable.

    I agree, from the trailer it looks a little Carrie inspired. Maybe with a pinch of Children of the Corn?

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