A creepy kid flick that frustrates as much as it excites, Dark Touch is one of those films that demands an audience’s concentration.

It’s not that there is any great debate going on, it’s just that the film flits from idea to idea, discarding potential plot-lines and throwing up red herrings-a-plenty on such a rapid basis, that you are often struggling to keep up.

Now I’m not one of those types that need everything spelled out to them in bold letters, but chances are if you are settling in for what you think will be a late-night run-of-the-mill scarefest, then Dark Touch will be a step too far (as it seems to have been for some via a quick check on social media).

Anyways, the film focuses on 11-year-old Niamh (impressively played by Missy Keating), a young girl who sees her parents and young brother killed before her very eyes in a slam-bang opening section.

At this stage we are not quite sure what is going on, other than this was no straightforward set of murders (if there is such a thing), with the parents killed by a combination of home furniture, glass and other household items in spectacular style, along with the house shaking, windows rattling, curtains billowing – all that type of stuff.

As far as Niamh is concerned, the house is haunted, although the police obviously don’t go down that route, instead claiming that the family members were killed by a gang of intruders.

Niamh is then packed off to another family while the fostering authorities sort out a more permanent solution but, wouldn’t you know, the creepy goings on seem to follow the 11-year-old, with the body count starting to pile-up…..

A mix of Carrie, Firestarter, The Children and any other horror flick that has featured ominous looking little brats, Dark Touch flits in tone wildly – one moment Niamh is cowering, seemingly terrified of what is going on around her, while the next she’ll be steely-eyed and wishing vengeance on those that have wronged.

It is these jars that keep the thing from flowing, as writer/director Marina de Van comes up with plenty to recommend – the acting is strong all round, the effects excellent and the copious amount of scenes shot in dark houses in the rain are well filmed and staged.

Obviously filmed on a low budget (in Ireland) the whole thing certainly looks polished and has a sheen of quality that elevates it above the dregs of straight-to-DVD fare.

But with confusing character arcs, a lack of any real explanation for what is going on and a final third that slows down dramatically from an excellent opening section, Dark Touch emerges as merely a good film, rather than a great one.

 

 

DVD Review: Dark Touch
An interesting horror tale with a strong lead performance
3.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.