Director: John Preston
Cast: Corey Feldman, Adam West, Shannon Malone
Production Company: 4Lane Productions
Runtime: 88 minutes
This indie film’s odd back story may just overshadow the events of the movie itself. Killer in the Dark (also known as Seance) was made for an estimated budget of one million dollars, back in 2001. It was originally intended for a limited theatrical release, but that never happened. It had some play on VOD and PPV, but the official story is that the film simply became, “lost in distribution hell”.
Fourteen years after it was made, Executive Producer Rick Vasquez decided on a bold move to make sure his film would find an audience. He had it uploaded to YouTube. Some call the movie a complete disaster, while others say it should be recognized as a cult classic. If that isn’t weird enough for you, also keep in mind that the script was based on Vasquez’s own experiences with a ghost.
In the film, John (Corey Feldman) discusses an event from his childhood with a group of friends. He tells them that he and his brother were once haunted by the ghost of a young boy. His friends soon talk John into conducting a seance in an attempt to reach the spirit. This turns out to be a big mistake, since they almost immediately release dark forces they cannot control.
Feldman’s acting is the high-point of this film. He puts in a sincere performance as John, and shows a lot of emotional range throughout the movie. I’ve enjoyed Feldman in a bunch of other horror films as well, including Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), The Lost Boys (1987), and Voodoo (1995) to name a few.
Adam West from Zombie Nightmare (1987), Monster Island (2004) and TV’s Batman (1966) plays a homeless person who tries to guide the group of friends to safety. Vasquez once said that they called West “one-shot Adam” on set, since he could always get every take right the first time. It’s too bad that his role in this film isn’t more significant.
The digital effects are another interesting thing about the movie. There’s certainly a lot of them for a independent movie from this time period! Some work better than others, but that’s to be expected from a time when these type of effects were just becoming available to low-budget filmmakers. I particularly enjoyed the effect involving a flying CD…
There are some story elements from this film that remind me a little of Final Destination (2000). In both films, the characters do something that upsets a supernatural force, which then seeks to destroy them for doing so. Killer in the Dark has a few genuinely surprising moments, as well as its share of unintentional humour. Its back story alone should be enough to get you to give it a look.
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…