Dark Forces

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Dark Forces Movie Poster Image
Violence, sex scenes in pretentious, surreal horror movie.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No positive messages in surreal horror. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters resort to either violence and/or the occult to solve their problems. 


Violent surreal imagery and content throughout. Characters shot and killed. Stabbings. Fighting with punches, kicks, brass knuckles. During a restaurant robbery, man is stabbed in his hand, women hit in the side of the head with a wine bottle. Woman with sharp fang-like teeth nibbles on a man's neck. Women tied up and held prisoner. Man shakes and slaps a woman. 


Characters shown having sex. Brief full-frontal female nudity. Hotel desk clerk offers to help lead character find a prostitute for the night. Some of the characters are prostitutes. 


Profanity includes "f--k."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette smoking. Alcohol and wine drinking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dark Forces (aka Fuego Negro) is a 2020 horror movie in which an underworld criminal stays in a bizarre hotel while searching for his missing sister. It's in Spanish with English subtitles. Nightmarish, violent, and surreal imagery throughout, including phallic-looking worms. Characters shot and killed. During a robbery of a restaurant, one character is stabbed in the hand, and another is hit in the head with a wine bottle. Fighting with punches, kicks, brass knuckles. Man shown slapping and shoving a woman. Characters shown having sex; full-frontal female nudity. Profanity, including "f--k." Hotel clerk tells main character that she can send a prostitute to his room if he so desires. Cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

In DARK FORCES, Franco (Tenoch Huerta) has just rolled into town on his motorcycle in search of his missing sister Sonia. He checks into an eerie and nightmarish hotel, where one of the guests is a strange-looking man named Jack, who wrote a book called Dark Forces. In this hotel, there's also a psychic person with albinism named Julia who lives with her mother. The mother tells him Franco that he'll need to pay them $2000 in order for Julia to tell him where he can find Sonia, and not until the next full moon. He meets a waitress named Rubi (Erendira Ibarra), who he rescues from a physically abusive man. Rubi becomes immediately smitten with Franco, and she agrees to help rob a restaurant in order to procure the $2000, per Jack's instructions. As they wait for the full moon, Franco and Rubi sleep together, and Franco has nightmarish visions involving a phallic-looking worm that leaves mouths to enter other mouths. Can Franco escape this nightmare and save his sister?

Is it any good?

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. 


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about horror movies. How does this compare to other horror movies in terms of violence, suspense, gore? 

  • What are some other examples of movies that try to create a nightmarish and surreal world? 

  • Why do you think horror movies have such an appeal for many? Why do some people like to be scared out of their seats when watching movies? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate