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By Doug Brunell | November 15, 2009

Ridiculous. Basic. Pretentious. These are just a few of the words that come to mind when viewing “Inside Darkness.” Writer/director Dominic DeLay, a Dominican friar and Catholic priest in the Los Angeles area, feels differently. He hopes that “experiencing, discussing, and debating” his film with friends and enemies (though why you would watch a film with an enemy is never explained) will lead to new revelations about yourself and “to a deeper truth and a better understanding of our nature.”

Did I mention pretentious?

If DeLay really wanted to obtain these goals he would have made a better film. Putting two presidential candidates and the sitting president in a locked room in what looks to be a terrorist scenario is not the best way to go about it. Granted, it’s easy to see what he is trying to accomplish – far too easy actually, and that’s part of why the film fails.

To have a short film that supposedly questions faith, violence, and so on is not a bad idea, but it has to be handled properly in order to be effective. This film is far too overt to work you into a debate about its meaning. Instead, it leaves you scratching your head.

The biggest crime? Instead of thinking about the issues DeLay wants you concentrating on, you’re thinking about how these people got into this situation and why. Once you get what’s going on, you no longer care. An interesting premise soon leads to boredom and makes it yet another case of an intellectual movie that tries a little too hard and has too little to show for it.

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