The Darkest Dawn

Director: Drew Casson

Year: 2016

Starring: Bethan Leadley, Cherry Wallis, Stuart Ashen, Drew Casson, Tom Scarlett, Georgia Bradley, Sam Carter, Mark Cusack

Running Time: 76mins

The Darkest Dawn takes one of the most famous of alien tropes, invasion and enslavement, and transposes it to a British landscape. An alien attack has resulted in Britain descending into chaos; hunted by the invaders and at risk from other, desperate parties the film revolves around the two sisters, Sam and Chloe Murdock, who have lost both their parents and are just trying to survive. They fall from situation to situation, some good, some bad as they seek a way to live in this new world.

Filmed exclusively through the birthday video camera that Chloe received, the handheld action gives it a realistic feeling and switches nicely between the action and diary-style messages.

Alongside the alien ship(s) that are patrolling overhead and killing numerous people, they also drop “bugs” which infect and take over control of the unfortunate victim. We have no idea how many of these ships there are, how widespread the attack is or how may people have been killed/taken over. And this leads to a few questions remaining at the ending, whether that is a conclusion or just a step towards a possible way to fight back against a superior enemy.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 21.38.16

There are lots of different elements to this film. We get a bit of 10 Cloverfield Lane, a bit of The Road and a bit of 28 Days Later. Whilst they all work fairly well together in the story it does give the film three definite parts. That being said throughout there is a feeling of advancement, a progression towards an end goal which allows the film to flow. You do get a real feel for them being under threat and get the feeling that they are struggling for survival although this could have been emphasised a bit more to highlight the dire situation that they are in. With decent pacing apart from slightly slower section in middle, there is a picking-up of the pace towards the end, elevating the tension nicely.

As an independent British film, of limited budget, it is a great effort. You can’t compare this to full funded films, but when you look at the execution and the premise you can see the work that has gone in to making and bringing this film to the screen. Hopefully this will lead to some bigger exposure and more opportunity for everyone involved.

A solid effort, decent acting and decent effects to bring this film to life. This film is well worth a look.


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