Dark Encounter (2019)

It’s been a year since Maisie disappeared.

Her family has gathered for a memorial service, but strange things start happening when they return to the family home afterwards — mysterious lights, odd noises, things moving just out of sight.

Something is out there in the woods, something that snatches the family members away one at a time.

But the mysterious visitors have come for a very different reason than the ones we expect.

I’m not quite sure what I think about this one. It takes its time setting up the family and all the things that gone wrong since Maisie vanished, it offers us a handful of references to Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Signs to make sure that we know where they’re coming from, it builds up lots of tension and suspense, and there’s even a 2001-style light show…

And then everything changes.

There is a lengthy sequence which marks that switch — most of it running in slow motion — which just goes on and on and on and on, long after the audience has guessed what is happening.

The premise is interesting, even if it is a bit of a shaggy dog story. I just think they needed to trim this one down a bit and speed things up.

It may be that they wanted to make the film a more “commercial” length (although at 97 minutes that seems less likely). Or it might be that they thought stretching these things out would make the film — and particularly those scenes which finally reveal the truth — more “dramatic.”

Either way, it slows down far too much. A tighter edit would have made a huge difference.

After all, it’s not a bad film.

There’s just too much of it.

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