Against the Dark (2009)

Genre(s): Action / Horror
Sony || R - 94 minutes - $24.96 || February 10, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-02-15


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Richard Crudo
Writer(s): Mathew Klickstein (written by)
Cast: Steven Seagal, Linden Ashby, Jenna Harrison, Danny Midwinter, Emma Catherwood


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French

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.::THE FILM::.

Alright, if youíve seen the rating I gave this film overall youíre probably thinking one of three things. First, you may be wondering why a direct to DVD film is getting higher than the big name movies coming out. Second, why in the world a Steven Segal film is going direct to DVD. I know, I thought that too, always been a big fan of his work. Third, well I ran out of ideas here. Against the Dark is a film that is one of the gems in the movie world today: itís just a bunch of people kicking the crap out of zombie/vampire-like creatures that doesnít count on a story, at all, to tell a good tale.

Panic has broken out in the world, as humanity is slowly dying and being killed off by some sort of airborne virus. Iím not sure what exactly the virus is, since the story doesnít matter that much anyways, but itís some sort of disease that turns people into zombies or vampires that eat other human beings and as such turn into one themselves. Itís not that complicated, itís like nearly every other movie about zombies, so just play along.

A group of survivors, consisting of Amelia (Emma Catherwood), Ricky (Stephen Hagan), Dylan (Daniel Percival), and Charlotte (Skye Bennett) are on the run from zombies and looking for a place to hide. Now, if a zombie outbreak happens, where would the last place you would go? Okay, a cemetery would be the last place, but the second to last place? A hospital. So guess where they decide to break into to stay warm? A cemetery. No just kidding, they break into a hospital.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the town, a group of vigilanteís known as ďhuntersĒ are led by Tao (Steven Seagal) which includes Tagart (Tanoai Reed) among others that cleanse areas for the military since they apparently suck at it. They manage to save a child wandering around the town at the start of the movie, and they learn their next goal is to cleanse the entire area before the next day begins. They head off to the hospital, which is their next step to rid the world of the vampire/zombie hybrid humans that arenít humans anymore.

Back to Amelia and her group wandering the hospital, only to stumble upon another group of survivors, consisting of Dorothy (Jenna Harrison) and Morgan (Danny Midwinter), a couple who have been at the hospital for weeks. They decide to travel together, and in true horror film fashion, they are slowly picked off while wandering around the hospital in an attempt to get out through the doors downstairs. By the way, this hospital is huge and has tons of floors and rooms, and most have the zombie/vampire hybrid humans occupying them. I donít really understand why they didnít just go back the way they came and risk it that way, since odds are they are going to die anyways to the creatures either in the hospital or outside, but moving on.

As Tao and his group venture into the hospital, the military has other ideas. Rather than give the hunters time to cleanse the area, Lt. Waters (Keith David) has orders to strike the area with nuclear attacks to completely wipe out the diseased place. Can the survivors and hunters make it out in time, or will they succumb to the deadly virus that we never figure out what it is?

Alright, normally Iím a huge stickler for movies not telling a full story. But this one has changed me, as after it was finished I honestly didnít care about the virus or which characters died. This is just a straight-up action flick from start to finish. There are insane amounts of gore and violence, which help add to the atmosphere of being in a hospital for most of the movie. The ending is also fairly cool as well, which is a surprise as most straight to DVD flicks lack a decent finish. Seagal and the rest of the cast are great, as the action is believable and interesting. As long as you go into this not expecting a ton of depth, then this is a great flick.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Behind the Scenes of Against The Dark (10 minutes): The lone special feature found on the disc, this takes you through some interviews with the cast and crew about the filming of the movie. Itís interesting, but also fairly short which is a disappointment to anyone hoping for a lengthy feature.

Sadly, nothing else can be found. I would have enjoyed a commentary with the Director/Segal though.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Against the Dark takes place mainly in a hospital that has poor lighting, and as such, suffers from some contrast issues throughout. Some scenes appear bright, vibrant, and colorful. On the other hand, some appear dark and murky with grain aplenty. Flesh tones however are decent, as is depth for the characters. This isnít a bad transfer by any means, it just has issues with being a mainly dark movie with fairly little light involved.

The audio side however fares much better than the other, as the Dolby Digital 5.1 track booms from start to finish. As a primarily action flick, the cutting of the zombies along with gunshots are thunderous, and the dialogue is crisp clear for most of the running time. There were however a few scenes were levels were lower than others, which was a problem since I had to continually turn the volume up and down. This isnít demo material by any means, but this is a well above-average audio track.



.::OVERALL::.

Alright, say what you will about Steven Seagal not really having a career after the 90ís ended and the 00ís started, but this is a decent action flick if you take it with little expectations. Itís just a slasher type of movie that doesnít require you to think and is violent, with no complicated back story or annoying characters. The special features are barren though, but the audio and video are great for a straight to DVD movie. This is honestly worth a rental for when you have some free time. Seagal, if you ever read this, Iím still one of your biggest fans.