Dark Was the Night is a 2014 horror film.
6 out of 10 stars. The only thing I don’t like about this film are that complete scenes are shot with red filters then blue filters over the camera lens. That’s very distracting from the plot. And the child actor who plays the Sheriff’s son is pretty awful.
The story begins outside of a town called Tanner at a logging site. The crew stops answering the radio so the foreman drives over there and finds pieces of dead bodies. He hears a terrifying noise and jumps in his pickup. Seconds later a creature has jumped through the windshield and killed him.
Ninety miles south is the town of Maiden Woods. The Sheriff Paul receives a call from a local rancher that one of his horses has been stolen. The Sheriff and Deputy Donny go to investigate and laughingly joke as they drive away that the old man probably forgot to close the gate.
That evening, Paul’s son Adam sees something outside their window looking in. Paul goes outside to investigate, but finds nothing and chalks it up to the imagination of a kid.
Donny comes to Paul’s house in the morning and takes him outside, showing him hoofprints all around his house including right at the window where Adam saw someone the previous night. The odd thing is that the hoofprints appear in pairs, not in fours, so it’s not a horse or a deer. They also appear all over town. Paul and Donny follow the hoofprints into the woods where they disappear without trace as if the animals suddenly flew into the trees. They also notice claw marks on the trees at about five feet.
Throughout the day they discover several odd things including that all of the animals in the woods have just fled. No birds, no deer, no squirrels, nothing.
That night as Paul and Adam are driving home a creature crosses the road right in front of the truck. He gets out and chases it into the trees and there he finds the bridle from the missing horse just hanging from a limb.
Meanwhile one of the local Native Americans is at the bar telling Deputy Donny about the Shawnee Indian lore regarding the Windiga.
On the third day they see a flock of birds flying through town as if fleeing something terrifying.
That night they get a call from the rancher’s daughter that there is something in the stables terrorizing the horses. When they arrive they find the rancher about to go into the stables all alone with a rifle. They stop him and something large bangs against the stable wall almost knocking over the entire stable. They all flee.
The next morning they find hoofprints with three toes. There are animals dead in the pastures with the flesh chewed clean off the bones.
That night the Sheriff sees a deer in the road and stops. He gets out and hears something in the woods. When he rushes to his truck for safety and gets in, the deer is completely gone. Something has carried it off without him even noticing. It was that close.
The next day a group of hunters go into the forest. I think there are five of them. They encounter some type of creatures and scream.
One hunter survives and comes to the Sheriff. They drive into the woods and find the dead partially eaten bodies of the other hunters in the trees about 30 feet up.
Paul tells Donny that he called other towns and found a similar occurrence up at a logging site outside of Tanner, 90 miles north. He thinks the loggers there somehow disturbed a herd of creatures that lived in the woods. Now they have moved south to Maiden Woods.
That night a blizzard comes. Paul and Adam are about to eat when they hear creatures outside their house banging on the walls. They run up to the bathroom and lock the door. Paul radios Donny who says he’s coming. The creatures break into the house and bangs on the bathroom door until Donny arrives and begins shooting outside. Then it runs.
Paul and Donny evacuate everyone to the church and Paul tells them everything he knows and what he suspects. The creatures attack the church and Paul and Donny herd everyone into the cellar where they’ll be safe. They post two hunters at the door with orders to shoot anything that breaks in then Paul and Donny go back up to the church to find and kill the creatures.
One attacks Donny in the kitchen and injures him, but he shoots it in the shoulder. Paul follows it through the church and shoots it. It climbs on the ceiling and drops on him. He stabs it to death.
Paul gets everyone from the basement and tells them it’s dead. But when they go back up to the church Donny looks at the creature’s body and realizes it’s not the one he shot. So there’s another one. The camera pans out and there are at least 20 more creatures climbing the outside of the church.
6 out of 10 stars. Scary. The creatures have bodies that are almost sloth-like, but with sharp teeth and hooves.