Mike O’Mahoney’s “A Dark Place Inside” is proof of how new American giallo can be terrifying with a low budget! The film stars Chris Dalbey, Erin Anthony, Jason Boyle, Kieran Boyle, James Costa and Jennifer Deverin in a dark, disturbing character study of a functioning homicidal maniac with one even darker past. Battling the pain and horrors of childhood, Andy is overtaken by the monster within. Driven, and truly psychotic no one is safe from blood thirsty rage.
The story here focuses on a killer’s point-of-view and sets us up for one terrifying surreal experience. The killer, played by Chris Dalbey, is a disturbing actualization of a boogeyman-a very real, very fantastical boogeyman! The dialog is minimal, stoic, and natural feeling. The tone is a macabre death march of nightmarish realities, twisted beginnings and unwavering cruelty. The character of Andy is very prevalent to some of the truth a lot of kids face through domestic abuse childhoods, manifested into the most heinous of human character traits that create serial killers. O’Mahoney is unapologetic about exposing this dark subject matter, and Chris Dalbey is unapologetic in his portrayal of this character.
The atmosphere of “A Dark Place Inside” is reminiscent of “Don’t Go Into The House” and “Maniac”. The acting is above low budget scale with Chris Dalbey really bringing to life this monster in total, disturbing reality. The cinematography is more traditional, surrealism that really sells stories this extreme. “A Dark Place Inside” gets pretty much everything right in the execution of this really dark, macabre story, raising the overall quality to higher standards than one expects from low budget, indie horror.
The special effects in “A Dark Place Inside” is a bit on the cheaper side, which-when the camera lingers too long-becomes really clear. However every bit of this film is told with practical, classic special effects and (even on the cheaper side) is still better and more effective than what I expected. The scenes are gory, graphic and beyond disturbing. The soundtrack is a total instrumental overture of unsettling emotion. Eerie, atmospheric sounds carry the story continuously- I don’t think there was a scene that didn’t have this chilling arrangement accompanying it.
Overall “A Dark Place Inside” is great proof that the modern American giallo film is very much alive. I enjoyed this film from start to finish. The cast give applaud-able performances, the concept is twisted with an even more twisted story, and horror echoes through every minute of this film. Andy is as nightmarish a boogeyman as Dahmer, and Frank Zito. Definitely watch this film. It is slasher, it is giallo, and it is intensely entertaining!