Blackest Darkness Image

Blackest Darkness

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | July 8, 2024

The most horrifying movie released in shopping malls during the 90s was Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and the tool chest used to make it so scary is on full display for others to make use of. Writer Acosta has crafted a narrative that reflects the best story elements of Lynch’s Psychogenic Fugue Trilogy, which includes his films Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire. His reworking of the central themes of that trilogy resulted in a clearer translation of those themes to the view. In other words, you will get it in the end without having it spelled out.

Acosta also composed the fantastically spooky synth score, which definitely has a Lynchian feel. Director Hulin makes several deliberate references to Lynch, such as the wife being named Diane after the unseen secretary to Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks and a close-up of match lighting just like the motif in Wild at Heart. This will excite cineastes while still working wonders on more casual viewers.

“The production value achieved here punches much higher than its budget should allow.”

The production value achieved here punches much higher than its budget should allow. The cinematography by Justin A. Wallace sports crisp, elaborate compositions with lighting so potent your heart will ache. The imagery, while very Lynchian, also hearkens up to another great piece of American pop art, namely the alternative comic book by Dan Clowes, Eightball. That was the series that the movie Ghost World was adapted from.

The other long-form serial in that comic was a very Lynchian story called “Like a Velvet Fist Cast In Iron.” Each episode would open with a full-on frontal image of a character’s face, just like Hulin does at the very opening of the movie. The scenes and interactions are also very reminiscent of the way Clowes portrays the grotesqueness of humanity. Fans of Clowes’s work and underground comics in general will get a huge buzz from this picture. In fact, it would seem like Dunlap and Acosta would be a perfect duo to bring “Like a Velvet Fist Cast In Iron” to the big screen finally. There is also a dash of Cronenberg with the talking cockroach, like in Naked Lunch. Blackest Darkness deserves the brightest spotlight for how well it uses the weirding way to grab ahold of sanity and pull its pants down—a truly trippy way to spend your evening.

Blackest Darkness (2024)

Directed: Adam Hulin

Written: Michael D. Acosta

Starring: Aaron Dunlap, Michael D. Acosta, Jessica Blaustein, Anthony G. Marshall, Carl J. Grasso, Larry E. Evans, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Blackest Darkness Image

"…deserves the brightest spotlight for how well it uses the weirding way..."

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