Dark Military, The. Offers Social Commentary With Basic Horror.
Dark Military, The. Film Details
Director: Loren W. Lepre
Writer: Loren W. Lepre
Release Date: Fall 2018
Release Format: TBD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Genre: Action, Thriller
Running Time: 1h 25min
Social Networking: Facebook
What if a webcast, LIVE on Halloween, turned out to be a real-life survival game? What if the people hunting them are a rogue military? What if all eyes from the around the world are tuned in, and with a short window of time, officials need to find out where this broadcast is taking place? With all of the technology taken away from the young adults to slow down any rescue team from finding them, they find themselves with no weapons to defend themselves. Can they be found in time, as the world watches on?
Social media and its influence on society is both a pro and a con. With this in mind, it wasn’t long before filmmakers exploited this topic for Horror cinema. Whether its online dating or cyberbullying, social media-themed horror films make for interesting conversational pieces. Filmmakers often go the routes vary between over-exaggeration to realism. The dark side of technology-based communication even reached the small screen with the BBC turned Netflix series created by Charlie Brooker.
Filmmaker Loren W. Lepre introduces his blend of social media-themed horror. His next release titled, The Dark Military has the grittiness and expression of a Survival Horror video game. In this film, audiences receive a slasher treatment. The time-tested formula combines bloodthirsty hunters, fear-induced prey and plenty of carnage. It is a plot many Horror connoisseurs are familiar with.
In The Dark Military representatives of a rogue military group serve as the antagonizing force. The action unfolds against a nondescript forest scenery. From this region, a live video stream showcases their ill deeds to hundreds of curious spectators.
The survival Horror element is an interesting perspective. This approach blended with the current consumption of violence on the internet makes the idea for The Dark Military compelling. The masses have become numb to the countless grotesque acts recorded and posted on social media. The content has become as widespread as kitten videos.
Lepre penned a story with strength and significance. There is a plethora of tension-filled moments, marketable villains and plenty of kill scenes in this film. Yet, everything is tame and were not conveyed with enhanced form. The production team needed to instill extra value to take this concept to the next level. The Dark Military lacks grittiness and a darker voice. While not redefining Lepre’s film is an enjoyable end product and will no doubt cater to specific target markets. What were the negatives to Lepre’s film?
Lepre uses his cast of deranged yet military trained killers as instruments to provoke controversy. Yet, this is where merits end. While the underlying definition of these roles is noteworthy it is the overall presentation that lacks authority. These ruthless band of soldiers comes across a cartoonish and non-threatening. From the wardrobe, it is easy to see that the killers favored fashion over practicality.
The slate of unsuspecting victims were single-serving roles, and neither connected with the audience. Act I do little to provide any solid backstory to these individuals. To sum, these characters were lambs for slaughter. There were scenes in which distraught callers would contact the sheriff’s office for information about their missing loved ones. While these seem to add an emotional impact it falls short due to a shortage of character development.
The notorious B-movie style of acting engulfs the production. The acting carried out by the cast neglected to communicate any sense of chemistry. With the dialogue, it felt imposed and not natural. In relationship to the infirm acting, the fight choreography also suffers from realism.
Humor muddles this production and for all the erroneous reasons. While the social commentary is a significant topic it is the infused one-liners that deviate the message from the viewer. In Act III, one member of The Dark Military delivers an impactful monologue. This scene was most welcome. Yet, are the audience to assume that Lepre’s film plays as a parody of its core topic.
There is a level of appreciation of the cast and crew for undertaking this project. Overall, The Dark Military has an interesting approach but production lies heavy with B movie-like quality.
I wish the visionary direction was darker, hence the title. The Horror seems lessened and the action component also feels underdeveloped.