Dark Encounter (2019)

Director: Carl Strathie
Starring: Laura Fraser, Mel Raido, Sid Phoenix, Grant Masters, Spike White, Nicholas Pinnock, Alice Lowe, USA/UK. 1h 37m

Dark Encounter is another film in a long line up, of Intricately detailed thought provoking sci-fi, drawing more towards the side of hard sci-fi and yet remaining dreamily artistic, this bold attempt to to blend a missing person case in and around the most profound alien contact, proved to be very thought-provoking, and somewhat beautifully bittersweet.

With other epic sci-fi titles out there such as Interstellar and Arrival, Dark Encounter can proudy sit among them as a strong contender. Even without going full Christopher Nolanesque and devising a complex world that falls in and on itself, with surreal curveballs and slips within time and space, there is a palatable connection between our world and another. Were the reasoning why, being slightly baffling, it still proves to be an outstanding piece of work both visually and intellectually.

The typical lights in the sky are usually the reason for missing persons but there’s a lot more going on here. You can’t deny that there is indeed a missing girl, one who has vanished under unusual circumstances during the opening of the movie. Her family do indeed encounter some very strange events, a year to the day of her disappearance, the family and friends, while still heartbroken, decide to meet up on the anniversary with the intention of being strong for each other, but other forces have their own agenda and evoke a strange lesson for everyone at the homestead.

Don't Look Up.

There’s so much going on in Carl Strathie, complex movie, it’s really admirable how he manages to to insist on such a heavy science Fiction theme, however during some of the more gritty scenes there is an overbearing sense that there’s just something paranormal going on within the home. With a pounding feeling between an unusual haunting and another worldly home invasion, The only thing you can’t deny in this family are definitely under attack and it’s uncertain why all by whom. At time’s the cinematography feels more like an MC5 music video, well which is constantly turning and a darkness which is illuminated but curious spotlights.

You were running at them with an axe

-Noah Anderson

On the surface this is a very American film, somewhere in the USA, the police department accents and homestead all at very authentic, despite most of the cast being British and being filmed in Yorkshire the film just be set for the larger American audience, but were you fully convinced?

Dark encounter lives up to its name, when the fireworks start and the world is turned upside down every character is forced to go on this journey of truth via the darkness of the unknown. Each of them eventually finding out what happened I met fated day, when??? went missing. It seems some unknown force has been watching and waiting for the right moment to reveal all. But the torturous factor is that the family have wanted nothing else but to know exactly what has happened and yet their journey to the truth is incredibly frightening and they are powerless to avoid it. What’s Strathie has done in his movie if a allowed is audience to also feel as powerless, as they are also forced to go on this same expansive journey into the unknown

Rating: 5/10

Related: Solis (2018), Sputnik (2020) Interstellar (2014), Arrival (2016), The Endless (2017)
Lists: Time and Space
Spotlight: Alice Lowe

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Trailer

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