Hey everyone, I'd like to thank Shyla Fairfax for penning Terrorphoria's first guest post! She runs SINEMA ADDICTION; a smart horror blog you should all be reading and following. When she isn't working on articles for her site she is pursuing an M.A. in Film Studies at Carleton University, which means she has way more street cred to review horror movies than I do.
Not since de Palma’s Carrie (1976) have I seen such a disturbing and powerful horror, an obvious influence of this extraordinarily uncomfortable film.
In Dark Touch, a young girl witnesses her abusive parents brutally murdered by an invisible force and must come to terms with what violences she herself may be capable of. Written and directed by University of Paris graduate Marina de Van, the film exhibits her interests in the body, violence, and power, all of which have been present in her past work (i.e. In My Skin). When asked why she chose to explore such subject matter in Dark Touch, de Van explained her desire to tell stories that are personal to her, and to express in her work the permanent damages of child abuse (dailydead.com).
The film is littered with instances of eerie silences and representations of isolation and trauma as it looks to the horrors of child abuse, portrayed here as an epidemic. Watching, I experienced heart-pounding and chills, I gasped, and I turned away at times. The film is not a gore-fest per se, but be warned, some of the violence is quite merciless - but it has to be for the story.
The now 13 year old Missy Keating gives an amazing performance as Niamh, leading the narrative without a hitch. De Van makes the excellent choice to show the world through the eyes of the mostly voiceless girl, allowing the viewer to experience with her the difficulties of not knowing who or what can be trusted. The film is promising right from the opening scene which has Niamh running away from her home in a panic, and it never wavers. When there are no thrills, there is suspense, and thrills are just around the corner… And it just keeps getting darker, and more sinister, and more uncomfortable. All while maintaining a beautifully sophisticated level of production.
I don’t see how this movie could disappoint anyone (come on, creepy kids… that’s always a win).