4/8/17

ROOT OF DARKNESS (2016)

Directed by: Gustav Ljungdahl, Jesper Danielsson
Written by: Gustav Ljungdahl, Jesper Danielsson
Stars: Jesper Danielsson, Fanny Hedenberg...read more


Year: 2016
Genrer: Fantasy, Horror
Run time: 1h 5m
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
REVIEW WRITTEN BY: RICHARD TAYLOR. SCREENSHOTS

Low budget and quirky production from Sweden has enough sensibilities to make it fun but I felt that in places the short 65 minute running time was a bit long.  Root Of Darkness could benefit from being a short film as the material is stretched too far thus making the movie lag in places.  I found great amusement in the relationship of the main character Erland (co-director Jesper Danielsson) and his wife Greta (Katriina Ruottinen) as they have some rather humorous exchanges as a well seasoned husband and wife.  I think the back story in this and the first half  are probably the best parts for me.  The set up had a lot of promise but the second half just delivers a mediocre outcome to something that had a lot more potential.

Root Of Darkness tells the story of an evil knight that was banished in a water well deep in the ground. The couple Erland and Greta buy the land which also has a cabin on it as a vacation destination. The couple go to their home away from home for a family excursion and Greta has invited her family, most of which Erland are not very fond of.  Things start turning sour when Greta can't get the water in the cabin to work so Erland with the help of his competent yet somewhat bumbling neighbor Leroy (Hugo Hilton Brown) attempt to fix the water pump. While fumbling with the pump Erland uncovers an underground passage way and finds an artifact which he retrieves and brings back to the cabin.  Erland checks out the box he got from the cavern but accidentally cuts himself trying to open it because of Greta startling him.  When Erland goes upstairs blood from the cut on his hand runs down through the floor boards on the box thus starting the evil to brew in the box as it is the soul or the "Root Of Darkness" of the evil knight that was banished years ago.  Some crazy evil parasite gets out of the box and start infecting and morphing into a larger abomination.  The worst part is this thing will have lots to feed on as Erland and Greta are expecting numerous guests!  Its up to Erland and Leroy to fight this evil monstrosity and send it back to where it came from.

Root Of Darkness benefits from the funny characters especially the unlikely duo of Erland and Leroy.  Erland is this eccentric scholar who is more interested in interacting with his books and literature than physical human contact.  Leroy is like this slack jawed ex-military type character who is great to have on your side but there is obviously not much intellectual upstairs.  The pair make quite the team as they fend off these bizarre looking monsters which look like they have been made with black garbage bags wrapped around various devices. The effects in this are definitely do it yourself caliber but are effective in getting the message across.

Root Of Darkness isnot a gorefest but more of a fun monster movie with some nice added touches. We get Erland donning his antique suit of armor to fend off the monsters in hilarious fashion and some rather tense moments as the group hold themselves up in the cabin as the monster carries out its relentless siege.

I think Root Of Darkness benefits from difference in cultures as well, an American production couldn't pull off the same humorous sensibilities and European charm this production possesses.  In one particular scene Greta remarks to Erland how beautiful the countryside looks and Erland remarks "Its gray, like the rest of Sweden." Lines like that give the film its own cool identity.

Overall Root Of Darkness is a fun watch and its great to see creative and low budget fare coming out from all different countries, I believe this is what makes the genre grow and makes  it more adventurous and entertaining for everyone.  Whether it's Sweden, Germany or Canada I will support and spread the word on all low budget creative cinema. Special thanks to René Wiesner for sending this along.


MORE DETAILS:

Produced by: Jonas Wolcher and René Wiesner
Cinematography by: ?
Editing by: Jonas Wolcher
Special Effects by: Gustav Ljungdahl
Music by: William Hellfire, Mark Kueffner, Anders Stangel
Year: 2016
Country: Sweden
Language: Swedish 
Color: Color

Distributor: Dino Publishing JW | Yellow Pig Productions





Share: