Left In Darkness Review

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[Left In Darkness]
Plot:Involves a college student named Celia who after being drugged and raped at a frat party, wakes up to find herself in a world which lies between heaven and hell. Now she has to fight her way to heaven before she's devoured by creatures known as "soul eaters".

Cast: Monica Keena, David Anders, Tim Thomerson, Chris Engen, Tarah Paige.

My Thoughts:Goes around in circles sometimes but otherwise pretty good.

Review:Movies like Steven R. Monroe's "Left in Darkness" can go two ways. Way up, or way down...usually. "Left in Darkness" however didn't go either way, but fell more in between. Monica Keena heads up the films cast which includes David Anders and veteran actor Tim Thomerson. Keena plays a young girl named Celia who is trying to get over many of the deaths in her family. Particularly the death of her mom and her grandfather (Tim Thomerson). A nicely mysterious scene in the very beginning however, at a cemetary shows that she has a guardian angel of sorts. Or so it would seem. Celia decides it's time to finally put the past behind her and have some fun, of course one would wonder why a girl looking to do as such would hit up a frat party. But anyway, she does and as if a mentally handicapped child couldn't see this plot twist coming, some frat boys spike her drink leaving her utterly helpless to stave off being sexually violated by a group of them. Despite it's unoriginality, Monroe uses this plot device to get Celia into an in between space, caught between the world of the living and the dead...heaven and hell. This is where the film takes off as Celia is qjickly pursued by demons known as Soul-eaters, who can take the form of anyone they've eaten to lure their victims into a false sense of security upon which they can then capture their prey. A plot device used many times before in most demon flicks but it works well in this one because it's done in an eerie and not too obvious sort of way. David Anders plays Donovan, Celia's guide in this odd and terrifying supernatural void. He turns out to be the same guardian angel who rescues her from the grip of death at the beginning of the movie, but what exactly are his motives, and is he friend or foe? "Left in Darkness" does a great job of using the dialogue and relationship between Donovan and Celia to string the viewer along and not make things too obvious or easy to figure out. This movie is not as predictable as most horrors and in order to figure out who's side who is on, you'll have to take some shots in the dark and wild guesses. Philip Day and Jane Whitney who wrote the pic also manage to keep things interesting overall by tossing Celia into a perilous situation. She has a very limited amount of time to make a decision about where she wants to go, since her body in the real world is all but dead but her soul is caught in between heaven and hell. The problem is, it takes Celia some time to accept what's happening, while desperately wanting to return to the real world. Also the character of Donovan is constantly changing faces, wanting to help her one minute, and trying to push her into doing bad things the next. Things that would certainly affect her chances of getting into heaven in a negative way. This constant conflict, along with appearances by Celia's dead relatives giving her advice and filling in the blanks along the way keep "Left in Darkness" at a very high level of intrigue. Unfortunately, around act 3 it seems that the movie had done all that it could in the realm of storytelling and so it begins to repeat itself and go around in circles somewhat. The movie more than makes up for it though with a thrilling and gripping climax where all is finally revealed and some intense and very dramatic moments take place. Monica Keena's performance in the film, while not matching how good she was in "Freddy vs Jason", is still better than most actresses would've faired in a film like this. Monica wasn't really given much to do when it comes to her character having any depth, or really interesting personality, but she made the most of her role which is a stike in the plus column for the film. "Left in Darkness" is a great mix of horror and thriller elements, adding in some decent creature FX, some strong performances by the two leads Anders as the mysterious Donovan, and Keena as the down to earth yet spunky Celia...and some really trippy visuals which are very appealing to the eyes in the way that they are filmed.

Pros:Good acting from the films two leads, great visual FX, decent story.

Cons:The third act becomes a bit too repetitive in most parts.

Overall:Worth a rental.

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