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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Todd Miro
Rob Sandusky, Charles Yoakum
Running Time

 "Enter the Dark" Review 
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Getting ready to have its Indiana premiere at Bloomington's Dark Carnival Film Festival from November 19-21, 2010, Todd Miro's Enter the Dark is an effective, psychologically thrilling chiller involving Charles (Charles Yoakum), who has recorded some mysterious noises in a house that may very well be so haunted it has frightened his family away. His friend, Rob (Rob Sandusky), is worried about him and commits to joining him one Friday night in exploring the mysteries held deep within the recesses of this haunted house and, potentially, the deeply held mysteries inside his troubled friend.

Lights out. The mysteries begin.

In the matter of less than eighteen minutes, writer/director Todd Miro (the producer/editor of The Commune) creates an involving, slick and suspenseful film that at times appears to be Paranormal Activity Jr and other times a more psychologically involving flick along the lines of The Shining. The chills in Enter the Dark work because Miro keeps the action decidedly low-key, building a strong yet casual camaraderie between Rob and Charles and allowing the increasingly menacing presence that surrounds them to spiral into a slowly building threat.

D.P. Rob Weiner makes excellent use of darkness and shadows, a rarity among lower budget horror shorts, complementing nicely Miro's slowly revealing script that thunders towards the film's "big reveal" towards film's end.

While Enter the Dark is a bit slight in terms of actual scares, perhaps owing to the relaxed performances of Yoakum and Sandusky that never quite project the fear that seems to be unfolding onscreen,  the film makes up for it with an ending that leaves a lasting impression both visually and emotionally.

Enter the Dark is nominated for three awards at Dark Carnival including Best Short, Best Editing and Best Supporting Actor for Sandusky.  The film had its world premiere at the Chicago Horror Film Festival and has also played at Planet of Terror, Sacramento Horror Film Festival, Thriller! Chiller! in Grand Rapids, Michigan and received an Award of Merit from the Accolade Competition.

Hoosier fans of horror would do well to check out Enter the Dark during Dark Carnival and everyone else needs to check out the film's website for upcoming showings in festivals nationwide.