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By Steve Anderson | October 10, 2007

I have to admit, I’m pretty surprised by “Of Darkness.” And that surprise is actually in a highly, highly positive way.

For a movie with a run time of twenty-one minutes, it’s actually got a plotline that could’ve easily bumped it up to feature length. Five kids, home without adult supervision, crack open a book formerly owned by a Satan-worshipping grandfather and when they do, they’re rapidly overcome by… well… I’m not all that sure what it is, so barring any better explanation, I’m just gonna call it “the darkness”.

See, that could’ve gone on for ninety minutes easy, as the quintet is slowly assaulted and in all likelihood killed off by the menacing forces unleashed by the horrors of the book.

But–and that’s the interesting thing–by not dragging it out, they’ve managed to create a superconcentrated burst of suspense and terror. And that combination is what makes “Of Darkness” a real force to be reckoned with. Sure, it’s only twenty minutes long and there’s barely enough exposition to cover the characters’ names, but there is still a LOT of punch in this.

Excellent engineering–the gradual dimming and deactivation of lights, in sequence no less, contributes to a very effective atmosphere charged by sheer creepy. The gore-soaked–and surprisingly horrifying–atmosphere that follows is less a gore-for-gore’s-sake effect and more the concentrated effect of a condensed runtime. Even the ending is a spectacular twist.

If these guys ever do a feature-length piece, I want to be first in line.

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