David Rice, Damita Harris, Jordan Bryant, Madison Deatherage, Wheeler Green, Chris Olds, Cheryl Sergent, Linda Underwood Rice Hawkins, Adam B. Sergent
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Adam B. Sergent
Derek Jenkins (David Rice) wants to be a star. Determined to turn his ghosthunting into more than just a hobby, he and his small group of wannabe ghosthunters decide to explore a notoriously haunted location.
Unsurprisingly, things don't go quite as planned when they accidentally unleash a horrifying darkness. To make matters worse, not everyone here is who they seem to be and their only way to survive may be to convince a world-renowned medium to come to their aid.
Darkness Hunting is a low-budget, pretty much no-budget, indie that leans on the lighter side of the indie horror scene. Derek cares more about snagging his own paranormal show than actually exploring the paranormal, though his girlfriend Jennifer (Damita Harris) is a bit skittish when plans begin to involve actually exploring the particularly noteworthy Kentucky site where the crew ends up. Eli (Wheeler Green) is familiar with the site and serves as a historian of sorts for its lore both real and imagined.
Writer/director Adam B. Sergent has crafted a solid entry into the ghosthunting sub-genre by infusing his storytelling with a unique vibe and characters who are fun to watch. Rice is a blast as Derek, somewhat over-the-top yet never completely caricaturish. Madison Deatherage shines as Sarah, the sexy and spirited one that every indie horror flick has but who here is quite a bit more essential to everything that unfolds. Chris Olds, as Veronica Villalobos, steals pretty much every scene he's in and completely turns our expectations upside down.
Sergent lenses the film himself and does so effectively. To be honest, there's never really a moment when you forget that Darkness Hunting is a low-budget flick but for the most part Sergent does a nice job of working within budget constraints and telling a story that works.
It's not often that I get films out of Kentucky and it's an intriguing and effective choice to set the film's narrative in Harlan. While we don't get much of a sense of the town, as someone familiar with Kentucky it still made me smile knowing there are likely a few ghosts floating around those hills.
Darkness Hunting is practically the definition of a low-budget indie project, though you can see Sergent's artistic vision in every frame and despite the inherent challenges of low-budget filmmaking it's a fun film to watch and is paced nicely at a slight but just right 72-minute running time. If you get a chance, check it out.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic