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Review: 'Nightstream: Buio (Darkness)' a Headscratching Thriller

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Oct 13, 2020

The Italian import "Darkness" ("Buio") is an artsy dramatic thriller about a trio of sisters who are trapped inside their palatial estate, because the world outside is dangerous as a result of an apocalyptic event.

Their Father (Valerio Binasco) goes out every day to get the girls food and returns in full PPE, including a huge gas mask and body suit, to keep himself safe. His eldest daughter, Stella (Denise Tantucci), is the "mother" of the three girls, which also include fourteen-year old Stella (Rebecca Carla), and young Luce (Gaia Bocci), who refuses to speak since their mother died.

The three girls try to keep things together while Father is out. When he gets home, however, he alternates between adoration and abusive prick. When Stella realizes the outside world might not be the terror her father has been insisting it is all these years, she takes a journey outside, learns a few things, then comes back to confront daddy.

Director Emanuela Rossi injects some good visual style here and the performances are effective. At the same time, the story is fairly thin and could have used newer aspects to a genre we have seen time and time again.

That said, in a time when the #metoo and women's equality movement has taken hold, the themes here couldn't be more relevant. (Dad says if women go outside they die. Only men can go out.) In that, the film has some effective moments, but the teasing and unexplained ending might leave a few scratching their heads.

"Darkness" played the Nightstream Film Festival ,which ran through October 11th online. For more information, visit nightstream.org

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.

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