The Dark Place

It wants to take me down there – to the dark place.

– Susan Barrow

I chose something new for Day 6 of my Halloween Fright Festival – Lawrie Brewster’s 2017 film, The Black Gloves. I’ve watched two of Brewster’s previous films, Lord of Tears (2013) and The Unkindness of Ravens (2016) and enjoyed them both, so I figured it was a safe bet. Thankfully, I was correct.

Equal parts psychological horror and creature-feature, the film is something of a prequel to Lord of Tears, though only because it takes place a few decades earlier and features the Owlman, Brewster’s dapper contribution to the modern monster pantheon.

The cast is solid – Jamie Scott Gordon ( who was in both Lord of Tears and The Unkindness of Ravens) does a good job as a psychiatrist suffering emotional distress, and Alexandra Hulme has a waifish, yet creepy air as the haunted dancer he’s trying to help. It took me a few minutes to recognize Macarena Gómez, who I’d last seen in Stuart Gordon’s Dagon (2001), and she gives a nicely menacing performance as Hulme’s deranged dance instructor.

A creeping sense of dreamlike horror pervades the film, with the most striking bit being Hulme’s deranged (or possibly possessed) ballerina stalking an injured Gordon through the house. The Owlman is horrific, sure, but that sequence by far the most unsettling bit of cinematography I’ve seen in a while. I’d recommend sitting through the film just for that bit, honestly.

All in all, I enjoyed it. If you’d like a bit of creeping dread this season, give it a go. You might as well.