Out of Darkness Review: The Shadows of Humanity’s Past


In the shadowy prehistoric landscapes of “Out of Darkness,” director Andrew Cumming and writer Ruth Greenberg embark on a cinematic journey back to a time when humanity’s candle flickered in the face of nature’s overwhelming darkness. This tale of survival, set some 45,000 years ago, unfurls amidst the harsh beauty of the Scottish Highlands, a backdrop that serves both as a character in its own right and as a testament to the enduring struggle of early humans against the elements and unseen predators.

The story centers around a nomadic clan, led by the pragmatic Adem (Chuku Modu), as they navigate a world where the bonds of community are as essential for survival as the spears they wield against the darkness. Amidst them, the elder Odal (Arno Lüning) and the young Heron (Luna Mwezi) symbolize the generational transmission of fear and bravery in the face of an unknowable threat that snatches them from the shadows. The presence of Beyah (Safia Oakley-Green), a newcomer with her own secrets, and Geirr (Kit Young), a warrior-in-training, adds layers of complexity to the clan’s dynamics, hinting at the nuanced relationships that are a matter of life and death in this brutal era.

“Out of Darkness” distinguishes itself with its commitment to authenticity, from the guttural sounds of a fictional language that combines elements of Arabic, Basque, and Sanskrit, to the meticulously crafted atmosphere that envelops the viewer in a world both beautiful and forbidding. The cinematography by Ben Fordesman and the haunting score by Adam Janota Bzowski immerse the audience in an experience that is at once alien and deeply human, highlighting the primal fears and desires that drive us.

However, the film’s journey through the untamed wilderness of prehistory is a bit of a slog. While the setting and premise promise a fresh take on the survival horror genre, the narrative sometimes falters in its execution. The unveiling of the mysterious entity hunting the clan, intended as a climactic revelation, instead diminishes the tension built up throughout their ordeal, leaving a trail of unfulfilled potential in its wake​​​​.

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Despite these criticisms, the performances are handled well, with the cast delivering portrayals that resonate with the raw emotion and physicality demanded by their roles. Their efforts, along with the film’s visual and auditory achievements, underscore the potential of “Out of Darkness” to carve a unique niche within its genre. It’s a film that, despite its flaws, offers a compelling glimpse into a world where every moment is a fight for survival, and every shadow could hide a story untold.

RATING: 2.5 out of 5.0.

Out of Darkness is playing in theaters on February 9th, 2024.

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2 Responses

  1. Sleek Assassin says:


  2. Grinch Cheese says:

    didnt really like it

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