Episode #85: Afraid of the Dark
Listen to Episode 85 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - Afraid of the Dark tells the story of a young boy named Lucas (played by Ben Keyworth) as he navigates life with his blind mother and her blind friends. This small community is being shaken by someone who is brutally attacking the blind residents, picking them off one-by-one. Everyone seems suspicious to Lucas, but is everything the way it appears?
Screenplay by Mark Peploe and Frederick Seidel; Directed by Mark Peploe; and premiered at the Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival in October 1991.
Eyesight and everything to do with eyes is immediately front and center. Some of it not so subtle, like this first shot, but the actual meaning is yet to be revealed.
There are a lot of interesting reveals throughout the picture, knowing nothing going in. The first big one was learning that the mother was blind.
Blind people are getting attacked and Lucas is one of the only one that can see
So he's suspicious of everyone, especially the men who are all presented as lecherous.
It's a small town, so he finds himself pretty close to the attacks
Following Lucas around town (and the cemetery behind his house), we get to see his perspective on things
There are a lot of characters and though we don't get a lot of time with most of them, we get enough to feel like they're real.
It's also interesting to see Lucas' voyeuristic nature
Blood & gore wise, this isn't really a "horror" movie. It was a thriller, though, that provided a couple interesting moments.
The big thing was the twist that happened half-way through
If you don't want any spoilers, then you can stop reading after the above screenshot
Surprise, Lucas is the one that's close to blind and everyone can see and this was a huge adjustment
What was strange was the alternate reality presented where relationships are different from the first half.
There are a lot of call-back images to the first half.
Some of the scenarios are a little disturbing.
We do wish the overall resolution was a bit more concise as it seems like some of the psychological underlying issues are sort of ignored when all is said and done.
Awards Talk: We only found one nomination, from the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival it was up for the Grand Prize but lost to a 1990 Polish film "Escape from the 'Liberty' Cinema"
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week our movie premiered at a film festival where we once again were unable to determine the exact date. So, since we're in horror month, we're looking at the Halloween Blizzard of 1991
Here is a longer local special look back that we found on YouTube. And if you want to read a bit more, here is an article:
We also talk a little bit about the Tokyo Film Festival of 1991 and go over a couple of the other movies that were playing:
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 2 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 3 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - This seems like the type of movie that should be worth watching again to look for clues or references. The journey of the storytelling was interesting, and we liked the surprise twist, but ultimately we both felt the ending was unsatisfying. So, we would consider it, but only if it was presented with some additional context (like a Q&A session).
If you want to watch Afraid of the Dark, as of this recording in October 2022, it’s available on Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.
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