Review: Darkness Reigns (2018)



Casper Van Dien stars as himself in this feature that follows a documentary film crew in charge of filming behind the scenes footage of a movie filmed in a haunted hotel. The film crew ends up documenting violent attacks by entities from another world. The reason behind these attacks are even more sinister than the attacks themselves…


Plot- 3.5/5:

This was a fun movie. It was neat to see the events unfold from the perspective of a film crew in charge of filming behind the scenes information for the special features of a DVD release. There were no plot points that felt silly or unnecessary, and nothing felt like it dragged on.

Acting- 3.5/5:

I thought Casper Van Dien was phenomenal in this. Although some may say it should be easy to play yourself, I do believe there was some exaggeration involved. It seemed to be true to the feel of the independent horror movie set, and no one did a laughable job. I particularly enjoyed Peter Mayer, who played Sidney, the eccentric medium.

Special Effects- 3/5:

Although the movie was relatively short, there was no shortage on special effects. The different haunting effects were well done, not being too hokey or unbelievable. There is a shot of Van Dien being violently thrown over the railing to the floor below that looked really cool. The demon effects were a nice touch, a nod to the classic practical effects of the 1980’s.

Fear- 2.5/5:

While the effects were well done, the film still didn’t end up being all that scary. I think it’s shorter run time has some to do with it, as there wasn’t a lot of time to build tension. I typically don’t say this, but I do wish this particular film was a little longer. I do think the film could scare the casual horror fan, as there are tons of creepy shots of demonically influenced people and activities.

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Conclusion- 3/5:

I found Darkness Reigns to be a sweet treat. With a cool story and great acting by Casper Van Dien and Peter Mayer, the film ended up being a pleasant surprise. The special effects were well done, and I was ultimately left wishing it was a little longer. Darkness Reigns isn’t The Amityville Horror, but it doesn’t need to be. If you get a chance to watch the movie, if you’re a hardcore fan, you should probably take it.

About Chuck Ransford 100 Articles
Ah now for the one thing everyone loathes...writing about themselves! Well for starters, my name is Chuck, and I am a south Jersey transplant living in Amish country. I’ve been a horror fan since 5th grade, about 16 years ago. My horror fandom started when I got my hands on a copy of Jay Anson’s novel The Amityville Horror. The book terrified me, and I knew I just had to watch the movie. An older cousin of mine had a copy of it, and that was the genesis of my obsession with the genre. Over the years I have expressed my horror fandom in many ways. Since about 2005 I have been regularly attending horror conventions. These have been great ways to amass collectibles, movies, and to meet some of my favorite celebrities. My best friend Mike and I used to run our own horror blog years ago, and we also dabbled in script writing. I am looking forward to going back to writing about horror, something I’ve always loved. When I’m not working (I work at PNC Bank), my non-horror interests are studying theology and economics, watching Japanese tokusatsu, and doing play-by-play commentary for professional wrestling. I’m also a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society and singing in a Barbershop quartet. Oh, and I’m probably the biggest fan of the Golden Girls you’ll ever meet. My top 5 horror flicks (definitely subject to change): 1. Cannibal Holocaust (1980) 2. Basket Case (1982) 3. Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) 4. The Beyond (1981) 5. Dawn of the Dead (1978)