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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2014: The Darkside

Darkside

Described as true stories from the other side, The Darkside features ghost stories from all across Australia.  A number of Australia’s most beloved actors, such as Claudia Karvan, Aaron Pedersen, Bryan Brown, Jack Charles and Deborah Mailman, were cast to tell these true stories in front of the camera.  The result is a series of somewhat stylized vignettes, based around these stories.

The background of The Darkside is that director Warwick Thornton did a callout across Australia, looking for people to tell their personal paranormal experiences.  Actors were then cast to recreate the interviews with these individuals.  In some cases, the actual interviews were used, with a scene built around what was being said.  Since these stories are often told in a single continuous shot, the film does come off as monotonous at times and probably will try many people’s patience.

As a fan of true ghost stories, I can say that I found that aspect of The Darkside to be quite interesting, with many of the stories involving Australia’s aboriginal history.  The stories aren’t particularly scary, though there are some interesting visuals, such as a re-enactment of a haunting at Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive, a woman dancing against flames, and a figure vaguely being seen behind a campfire.  The most emotional story is saved until the end, which helped to finish the film on a bit a high note.  Overall, despite being a bit on the monotonous side, The Darkside was still an interesting collection of Australian ghost stories.

7 | FAIR 

Screenings:

  • Sun, May 4, 9:30 PM – Royal Cinema

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).