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From Within (After Dark Horrorfest III)
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FROM WITHIN is one of the last of this year's 8 Films To Die For that I watched, and it's certainly one of the most polished. Acting is flawless, as is direction, cinematography, and, for the most part, writing. The story is coherent and follows a logical progression. And, it delivers plenty of chills along the way. In short, it has what most of the other films didn't have.
I do have two slight issues with the movie. The first is the fact that, chilling as it is, the bulk of the films scares are lifted almost directly from other films. You have the creepy girl with the hair covering her face, or the girl appearing in the TV, or the cheap After Effects shot of the sudden black-eyed demon face. The film also suffers from having THE BROKEN in the same festival this year, both films drawing heavily on mirrors and reflections attacking people. But, though these effects are lifted from other films, they are still employed very well here - the movie delivers plenty of great creep-out moments, even if they are familiar.
The only other issue I have is in the broadly stereotypical portrayal of extreme religion.Read more ›
The acting isn't too bad for a lower-budge movie. Thomas Dekker, from "The Sarah Conner Chronicles," is one of the main actors in the film.
There are some stereotypes (ignorant, hypocritical, over-zealous Christians as well as the ever persecuted wiccans) used in the film, but I don't think that they detract from the film too much. Again, if you liked "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "The Grudge" or just movies about vengeful spirits and curses, then this is a good film to check out. Enjoy...
Whatever. What I know for sure is that, even though "From Within" had some genuinely engaging moments, it still didn't quite live up to its potential. Consider the fact that it takes place one of those small Southern towns where the vast majority take faith in God a little too seriously; while effective as a plot device, the truth is that we've seen too many horror films about communities with frightening mob-like mentalities. There's also the fact that religion is generalized to the point of turning virtually everyone into a caricature. The only neutral character is a teenager named Lindsay (Elizabeth Rice), who seems to recognize that, in spite of her own faith, people should be allowed to worship as they see fit.
The story: A string of deaths are plaguing the God-fearing town of Grovestown.Read more ›
From Within plays with preconceived notions of who is wrong and right in the debate over fundamentalism by sprinkling forthright characters with dark secrets...and dark characters with dark secrets too. Nobody's innocent. Not Aidan (Thomas Dekker, Mr. John Connor himself) the goth pretty boy whose brother Sean (Shiloh Fernandez) committed suicide in front of his girlfriend (Rumor Willis), nor Dylan (Kelly Blatz) the son of a preacher man. With Lindsay (Elizabeth Rice) in the middle, they form a peculiar love triangle that's not particularly convincing, as Dylan comes off as nothing more than a pious robot. It's hard to conceive that he and Elizabeth had a relationship at all.
The other characters, including Lindsay's boozy stepmother Trish (Laura Allen), her redneck boyfriend (Roy Adam) and the always-smiling Pastor Joe (Steven Culp) are all just about as awful as you might expect. Christian fundamentalism is portrayed as just as ugly as alternative religions like Wicca. It's not the mask of religion that's the problem, according to director Phedon Papamichael, it's what people are really like on the inside. And with the exception of Lindsay, everyone is petty, vindictive, and self-centered.
But this is a horror film with a curse at its center, and From Within doesn't disappoint.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It has more of a good start then a finish.
I lost interest at halfway.
It didn't do better after that. Read more
Disappointing movie, slow going, watched it to see one of my favorite actors.Published 10 months ago by SaKura OGrady Elliott
Very good for a after dark horrorfest movie, probably one of the best among the annual collections. Good concept, story moves fast enough and remains interesting, effects aren't... Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by redfish001
I just watched the film and I have to say just one thing: amazing. It's been a while since a film moved me so much like this one. Read morePublished on November 21, 2013 by Hellseeker
Has you guessing right from the start of the film. Slow in a few spots but the ending is really a twist!Published on October 11, 2013 by Ray
Just different enough to be worth watching. My wife enjoyed it as much as I did, as did our 15 year old granddaughter.Published on October 2, 2013 by Shawn E Wilson
Fanatical religious town searching blindly for someone to blame for things they have no answers to. Grabs your attention from the beginning and doesn't let go until the credits... Read morePublished on September 30, 2013 by S. Vasquez
Ever since the release of movies like the Grudge and the Ring, a decade ago, we have been flooded with these similar movies and aren't you tired of them by now? Read morePublished on September 14, 2013 by Todd Smith