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Parents' Guide to

Dark Forces

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Violence, sex scenes in pretentious, surreal horror movie.

Movie NR 2020 81 minutes
Dark Forces Poster Image

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Dark Forces is a Mexican horror film that ultimately comes across as a pretentious attempt at occupying the same space as the movies of David Lynch and David Cronenberg. Surreal, nightmarish, strange-looking people under artsy lighting and a hideous, phallic-like worm creature are the hallmarks of this effort. Like a juggling unicyclist taking up the sidewalk in some "hipster" neighborhood of a big city, it doesn't take long for the movie to feel like it's trying a little too hard to be "different." The style and the "weirdness" grow tiresome, especially when the style begins to serve as a cover for what's otherwise a flimsy story.

The "bad boy on a motorcycle," the equating of a person with albinism with mystical powers, the talk of a "full moon," etc. all prove that the surreal can have just as many (if not more) cliches as any movie taken from "real life." Obviously, there's nothing wrong with trying to make a movie with a unique style and sensibility, but when the style overwhelms the substance, and the very style draws a little too heavily on the styles of other films, it loses anything that might make it actually unique. What you get is pretentiousness, and that's what mars Dark Forces from beginning to end.

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