In the light, we can see the physical but sometimes the mythical and the spiritual appear from the darkness. Sometimes, it’s just our minds playing tricks on us, which causes us to double take and see things that aren’t really there. Add puberty and hormones to this mix and you get an interesting take on a coming-of-age tale. Writer and director Andres Rovira’s directorial feature debut Between the Darkness (Comes, Said the Night) deals with a teenage girl as she tries to vanquish a monster in the woods that has been haunting her. The coming-of-age horror thriller stars Nicole Moorea Sherman, Lew Temple, Danielle Harris, Tate Birchmore and Daniela Leon. Spoiler-free review after trailer.
A Natural View
For a small budget independent film, Between the Darkness has great cinematography and direction. Director Andres Rovira knows how to create interesting shots that leave a memorable impression on the audience.
His use of wide shots and knowing when to peel back adds to the film’s horror aspect. Between the Darkness does focus more on its drama via the thriller aspects. The use of darker colors throughout is where things become more interesting.
It’s easy to see why the film makes the most out of its budget, which is why the filmmaker and crew should be applauded. Pictured above is a shot where everything is paced to add a chilling effect.
The framing and spacing that Rovira uses adds rich detail to the film, in a way that adds to what’s happening narratively. The shot below where Sprout Grady (Nicole Moorea Sherman) is in focus in the foreground and her father Roy (Lew Temple) is blurred in the background is a visual technique to foreshadow events later on in the film.
Little things like that are subtle yet noticeable enough for any cinephile to pick up on. Rovira definitely knows his way behind the camera so it will be interesting to see future movies that he directs.
Lost in the Woods
Where the film excels visually, it takes a step back in other departments. Pacing wise, the movie moves too slow for its own good. When things happen that’ll catch your attention there isn’t much happening in between that keeps you interested. If the film’s dialogue and story didn’t feel like a generic horror formula then it could’ve added a new layer to the movie.
Narratively, teenager Sprout Grady (Nicole Moorea Sherman) and her brother Percy (Tate Birchmore) live with their father Roy (Lew Temple) in a secluded area, so they’re not indoctrinated by society. Sprout has been seeing a Gorgon (Christine Andelfinger) in the woods, but no one believes her.
The set-up is interesting enough, but the film never does much with it to create its own identity. Everything happens by the numbers and the film never takes a risk with its premise. There are a couple of scenes that make you realize how sick in the head Roy is and Lew Temple’s performance perfectly fits his character. Roy is a single father raising two kids and the film explores how he wants to distance himself from his past to the point that it interferes with his children’s upbringing.
Between the Darkness is a vibrant film to watch visually and narratively, it has its moments of intrigue. If you’re looking to watch a coming-of-age horror that has some interesting shots, then give this one a viewing on your favorite streaming service. Lew Temple and Nicole Morea Sherman do a solid job at holding down their leading roles to create a dysfunctional dynamic between their characters. Andres Rovira’s directorial debut has scenes that do shine as the light from between the darkness.
[All Mames Wey]
Between The Darkness (Come, Said the Night) is currently available on streaming and VOD services.
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