2020 Tribeca Film Festival
Michael Abbott Jr., Xander Berkeley, Marin Ireland
Bryan Bertino, Adrienne Biddle, Sonny Mallhi, Kevin Matusow
The Traveling Picture Show Company
Join us after the screening at 11:20pm for a live Q&A with Actors Marin Ireland and Michael Abbott Jr
Ensconced deep in rural seclusion, there is a farm. On this farm, there is a house. In this house, there is an elderly man. This man is slowly dying. His adult children, Louise (Marin Ireland, SNEAKY PETE) and Michael (Michael Abbott Jr, THE DEATH OF DICK LONG), have both put their lives on hold and returned home to be with him in his most difficult hours. The house holds terrible energies. Palpably horrific. Louise and Michael both sense it. They initially try to ignore what their guts are screaming to them, but soon, waking nightmares make that an increasingly difficult thing to do. One freakish happening follows another. Something evil is taking over the household.
Writer/director Bryan Bertino knows what scares you, as anyone who’s seen his pulverizing 2008 modern classic THE STRANGERS can attest. He knows what scares you because he knows what scares him, and he creates works solely from that vantage point. One of the most unsettling films we’ve seen this year, THE DARK AND THE WICKED is a seriously frightening piece of work. Conceived, scripted and ultimately shot on Bertino’s own family farm, it’s a harrowing interpretation of bereavement and faith found in isolated desperation – and the demons it can summon, particularly when voids are left open to be filled. Told through an individualistic genre prism that will have your skin crawling backwards into its very pores. More directly, this is a film about genuinely occult forces of evil, laced with imagery that will burrow into your nightmares. Ireland and Abbott Jr. are both phenomenal, and a chilling supporting performance from the great Xander Berkeley (CANDYMAN) as a rural priest struggling with his own darkening shadows brings further texture to the film’s distinctive tapestry of horrors. Brace yourself, and venture in. – Mitch Davis
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