The Fear of Darkness is a low budget, late night cable movie that would be just interesting enough to hold your attention if stuck in a foreign country, and everything else was dubbed into a local language you can’t understand. OK, that was harsh. I’m not actually certain what I think of this movie. It is just slick enough to look like it managed its low budget well. The acting isn’t atrocious. The ideas are just barely intriguing enough to hold the audience’s attention. Especially the details about the drug DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) and the hallucinatory side effects the drug can give. But it’s the ending, and the crazy switchbacks heading into the ending that brought this movie to THiNC. We change directions so many times and with such regularity as to assure you’ll need a trip to the chiropractor by the end. But is it worth watching for the clever ending? Meh. I don’t know, I’ll leave that up to you.
Deep dives on new movies and interesting mindjobs are what I do. Not because I want to, because I am OCD when it comes to wringing the insight and understanding out of a movie. Today though, we are going to talk about The Fear of Darkness, and I have just given a high level overview of what the movie holds for viewers. Regardless, spoilers abound from here on out. Read at your own peril!!! (OK, I got into the whole “Fear of Darkness” thing a little too much there. Sorry about that, won’t happen again.
The movie the Fear of Darkness is the story of a murderer and a suspect named Skye Williams, who was out of her mind at the time of the murders. Enter Dr. Sarah Faithfull (Warning! Warning! Bawoooga. Bawoooooga.) who has been called in to try and figure out exactly what happened, and to get Skye to help close the investigation. But Skye seems to be the fall guy for some evil spirit that is attacking people around those who have messed with the drug DMT. But soon, Dr. Faithfull (Oh, come on.) begins seeing this same darkness that Skye has described to her, and soon murders are happening in and around her as well. And as the darkness begins marking Dr. Faithfull like it marked Skye, and as the police begin to suspect her too of murdering those around her, we begin to wonder if there is something to this evil darkness in the air.
Or do we?
As the Fear of Darkness heads into the ending, the police come for Dr. Faithfull, and tell her, “Skye Williams, we are charging you with the murders of…” and Dr. Sarah Faithfull says, “But I’m not Skye!” Which makes the entire audience say…uh. WHAT? And the audience learns that apparently, Skye has been having split personality projections of herself as Dr. Faithfull. (I sounded the alarm bell at the beginning when the name Faithfull was revealed, but did you listen? Did you? No, you didn’t.) But it has been Skye that has been researching and writing the book on personality disorders. It’s been Skye “investigating” her own case and trying to get herself to tell the police what is really going on.
The Ending of the Fear of Darkness Explained
And, as the movie concludes, it is Skye that is trying to convince herself that Faithfull is a fictive device made up by herself. But ultimately, she refuses to believe this to be true, and as the movie ends, we watch as Skye, projects herself as Dr. Faithfull and kills a passing motorist who stops to help. This basically tells the audience that it was Skye all along who had been killing everyone throughout the film. It also communicates that Faithfull never existed.
But from a story plot standpoint, I quickly got lost as I tried to map what actually happened over the course of the movie. Think about it, Skye kills several people at the beginning of the movie. We see her cowering in the shadows, marked by some sort of darkness. But now, because we know that our narrator is flawed, we realize that she was immediately admitted, and placed under police watch. Then, when “Dr. Faithfull” arrives, it is just a projection of her own personality. Which basically means that the rest of the movie is basically false…it never happened. Even the murders that are being pinned on Dr. Faithfull couldn’t have happened seeing as though Skye never left her psych ward. And it is only in the end, when Skye breaks out of the psych ward that she is able to kill again. Correct? (Yes, this is me asking, because I literally don’t know what to believe with regard to this movie.)
What did you think of how this movie worked? I definitely not adding it to my recommendations list – which, you can see here if you are interested – but it was still interesting enough to unpack together. No?
Edited by, CY