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Film Review: “Darling” (2015) ★★★★


There are two types of ill-minded and insane people: those naturally born with it and those made so by human beings. The story you’ll be seeing in Mickey Keating’s “Darling” will give you a chance to meet an individual having a great combination of both, with whom I am sure you would not even like to share the same planet.

There is only one victim of Darling, an it is Henry Sullivan. But why she picks him is something that will be unfolded towards the end of the film. It is also important to note that when the opening title card warns you about “this film containing flashing lights and hallucinatory images”, you must take it very seriously. However, what will fascinate you most in “Darling” is its dazzling classic look, impossibly scary scenes, and the performance Lauren Ashley Carter delivers, which puzzled me a lot. How is that possible that she still remains in the shadow with such an unbelievable talent?

“Darling” follows a lonely young woman who moves into an old Manhattan mansion. Hired as a caretaker, she finds out from her employer (Sean Young) that the house has a haunted reputation, and its previous caretaker simply took her own life by jumping out of the window. Hearing that, Darling ignores the past story and accepts her new position with gratitude. However, what will happen next proves that the house indeed has something mind-blowing to hide, but it still can’t be compared with what Darling’s twisted and violent descent can offer….

To me, and I am sure for you as well, it would be surprising to see a filmmaker using a few effective elements of horror genre that perfectly fitted into this film: set in black-and-white in a way to remind you of Repulsion (1965, Starring, Catherine Deneuve) and “The Shining”. The camera in this film is placed in right angles to capture the loneliness of the mansion and the horror it can bring to an already mentally troubled person’s mind. In order to tell the story, it uses the fragments which is extremely easy to follow. When the first chapter begins, you see it being named as “Her”, but as the story gradually develops you move from one chapter to another, you find how Darling gets insanely uncontrolled, especially when she meets her target, Henry Sullivan.

Largely due to shockingly convincing performance delivered by Lauren Ashley Carter, who has already appeared in Keating’s previous film, you find her as a new face of horror films, while the filmmaker masterfully narrates the story the way you want him to make more films like this from that moment on. However, the facial expression of Carter, and how she develops her character singlehandedly is truly amazing. In conclusion, “Darling” is a well-crafted film, if I must say this way, by a filmmaker whose vision is what is really missing nowadays. Perhaps, the genre itself is not so pleasant to watch, but if you’re a horror film fan, believe me, you would not like to pass on this one.

Film opens in Carlton, April 1st and April 26 VOD & Digital

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