The Darkest Dawn is a British sci-fi film released in 2016, directed by Drew Casson, and a Hungerford sequel. Two sisters have to defend themselves in a country destroyed by an Alien invasion.
Hello, there! I’m dos Santos, and this is Ulven Reviews, with Movies and series from all over the world and all eras. Today let’s talk about The Darkest Dawn.
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The sisters Chloe and Sam Murdock (played by Bethan Leadley and Cherry Wallis, respectively) live a reasonably happy and ordinary life with their parents in London (unnamed parents played by Jess Cleverly and Sarah Perugia).
Chloe is always filming banal things with the camera she got as a birthday present. Once the alien invasion happens, the banalities give place to all the dangers and adventures that came from it.
Meanwhile Cowen, Adam, and Kipper (played by Drew Casson, Tom Scarlet, and Sam Carter) are still looking for Phil (played by Georgia Bradley).
Before starting our conversation about The Darkest Dawn, I highly suggest that you watch the review of Hungerford. It will be helpful to better understand the comparisons I’ll make in this video.
As I already mentioned, The Darkest Dawn is a Hungerford sequel. In my opinion, a slightly better movie than the predecessor, however, without reaching a higher standard.
The Darkest Dawn keeps the found-footage style. In the first, we had Cowen’s project to document the events. In this second movie, we have Chloe, an aspiring filmmaker or reporter, recording the adventure almost in a vlog style.
Another consistent trait in both movies is the lack of originality. Instead of a mix of teen comedy and Shaun of the Dead, we have a blend of War of the Worlds (2005) and The Walking Dead. I’ll elaborate on that.
Although the sequel is still a zombie-alien sci-fi, now the threats come much more from non-infected humans than from the zombie-alien-people. We have an abuser who captures the girls in the beginning and random people trying to rob and rape, all humans.
Bob (played by Stuart Ashen), the crazy abuser guy who basically kidnaps the girls, is almost an exact copy of the Tim Robbins’ character in War of the Worlds. The differences are minimal and for worse. The man in War of the Worlds is more complex and deserving of empathy, while Bob is just plain disgusting.
The parts that reference The Walking Dead, at least in this aspect, are the crooked people they encounter on the way. As I mentioned in another video, I stopped watching The Walking Dead a long time ago, so I’m comparing only with the earlier seasons I actually watched.
A reminder that every video I mention is available on the info cards by the top corner, so you don’t need to go looking for it if you get interested.
I can’t remember anything that got worse from Hungerford to The Darkest Dawn, but I can mention many improvements. However, let’s leave the progress for later because now we’ll discuss a significant hole in the plot.
In Hungerford, they used deodorant as a weapon. With it, they melted someone’s face, killing the creature inside of him, and also removed the bug from one of the friends. This aspect completely vanished from The Darkest Dawn and was never mentioned again.
Now, a specif blood transfusion can calm the bug for some time. But why rely on a transfusion to temporarily tame the creature when you can expel it or kill it with a deodorant?! It makes no sense.
Despite these holes, the film has a notable improvement from Hungerford: It goes straight to the point. The building to the invasion and fight for survival doesn’t take long, and it’s basically done in an introductory montage. From that point on, the movie has a consistent tone and pace.
Another aspect I enjoyed much more than in the previous movie was the characters. The new characters are enjoyable enough, especially Chloe, who’s upbeat and a bright spot for the situation.
There was also a villain that I disliked because he was too generic. I won’t talk more about it to avoid spoilers, and because there isn’t a lot to talk about anyway, besides that he was generic.
As for the characters already present in the first film, I was surprised to see how much every one of them improved. It’s like they were actually getting through the hardships of that world and become tougher from it. The best of all was Adam, who became my favorite.
In the previous video, when we talked about Hungerford, I already talked about the considerations we must have in mind when talking about the performances. I won’t repeat myself here because you can watch that to know what I think about it in more detail. Right now, I’ll only say that, once again, I find the acting okay.
The cinematography had only a slight improvement if any. The close-ups of people’s faces instead of wide shots of the environment is always an intelligent choice when your production doesn’t have the means of creating believable surroundings. The Darkest Dawn succeeded in that matter.
The visual effects were noticeably better and more daring. We had more gore, although nothing over the top, and more showy sci-fi digital effects. There were alien weaponry and explosions involved. It was nothing Hollywood level, but it was compatible with the budget of The Darkest Dawn.
The Darkest Dawn is a step above its predecessor, Hungerford. There are more to enjoy here in many aspects, even though it’s far from perfect. I’ll give The Darkest Dawn 5 Moons.
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