New parents Alex (Jonathon Schaech) and Penny (Pell James) are sick of their loud city life and decide to uproot their little family to a new place in the countryside. When the pair start seeing strange things around the house, they put it down to lack of sleep but things take a sinister turn and they soon realise that there’s more to what’s going on than meets the eye.
Lack of sleep does strange things to a persons mind and no doubt the first few months of being new parents is hard work. Dark Circles cleverly explores this difficult period that many people have or will experience at some point in their lives, and exploits every parent’s ingrained fears about protecting their young. Although a couple moving away from the city to be in the quiet countryside is by no means a new or original premise, it’s a formula that works and writer/director Paul Soter does a good job of creating a genuinely tense atmosphere and two very believable characters. Lead actors Jonathon Schaech and Pell James are both little known but deliver brilliant performances as the troubled parents desperate to do right by their newborn baby.
A haunted house horror that turns out to not be a haunted house horror at all, Dark Circles attempts a little twist at the end to try and justify the evil-ghost scenario with logic. Granted it works but it does feel rushed and unnecessary, like a little add-on that needn’t have been added; us horror hounds don’t watch haunted house films for their logic, most of us are happy to just blindly accept that, ok, maybe a ghost can be strangled after all. The twist at the end doesn’t detract from the film, but is probably just as well ignored.
Dark Circles is a decent little horror film with a few scares. It’s very nicely shot and the performances are surprisingly good for an under-the-radar horror film and although the story is generic, Paul Soter‘s own little touch to an otherwise over-done premise is very enjoyable to watch. Definitely one to keep an eye out for if you get the chance.