Coming to theatres from director Andrew Cummings and Bleecker Street is the dark and strange life when coming OUT OF DARKNESS.
Over forty-five thousand years ago humans were attempting to survive the world. A group led by Adem (Chuku Modu), a very pregnant Ave (Iola Evans), their son Heron (Luna Mwezi), daughter Beyah (Safia Oakley-Green), Adem’s brother Geirr (Kit Young) and forager Odal (Arno Luening) are looking for a new place to settle.
Finding land and a wide-open space, the group sets up shelter and start a campfire to rest while Adem and Geirr hunt for food. Almost immediately it becomes clear that something is out in the darkness. There are sounds, rattlings and a frightening reality that they are not alone. Then, the screams begin and so does the fight for survival.
On the move, Adem is now hunting for whatever has taken Heron but the very pregnant Ave can not move at the speed that they need. Settling again, there is more horror as whatever is hunting them leads them to a place where it is clear death is inevitable for anyone that gets in the creature’s way.
Sacrifices are about to be made to survive!
Oakley-Green as Beyah is the John Wick of forty-five thousand years ago as she shows no fear in anything that is needing to be done for survival. Making the ultimate decision as the group is starving and running into the fray even though she is terrified, Oakley-Green is stellar and trust when I say if I had been there (and thank gawd I wasn’t, I’d make a lousy early human), Beyah would be the person I’d stand behind. Her character doesn’t have a lot to say but when she speaks – listen!
Young as Geirr is Adem’s brother and whether he is straight out scared at everything that moves or perhaps continual berating by his brother reminding him that he is not the leader, Geirr doesn’t have leader ability. He sees Beyah as a strong warrior and looks to her when things start to get out of hand.
Modu as Adem is a brutal leader who holds a strong thumb over the group. He makes it clear that no one is going to tell him what to do and he is willing to sacrifice anyone who goes against his leadership. Evans as Ave is a very pregnant woman who is having a hard time from travelling and lack of food. Yet, when she is cornered, she is just as vicious as Adem.
Mwezi as Heron is the young boy who is the first taken. That is the hardest to take and the reason Adem goes so strong into the chase for the creature. Luening as Odal also has a tendency to question Adem’s decisions and gets a verbal beat down and a reminder of where he stands in the ranking. That doesn’t mean that Odal isn’t keeping a mental file of what is happening only to bring it up later.
Bleecker Street is a New York City film company that has brought outstanding films to the public. Their library includes TRUMBO, DENIAL, THE LOST CITY OF Z, BEIRUT, HOTEL MUMBAI, ORDINARY LOVE and THE ROADS NOT TAKEN. For more information on the titles from Bleeker Street please visit www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com.
This year director Cummings completed his debut feature film OUT OF DARKNESS with Escape Plan Productions (SAINT MAUD). In 2019, he directed the last two episodes of COLD FEET series 9 for ITV and BIG TALK, now streaming on Britbox, and in 2018 directed three episodes of BBC3’s acclaimed thriller CLIQUE (S2). In 2015 he directed KAI, funded by i-D and VICE, which has been viewed over one million times on social media. Andrew’s National Film & Television School graduation film RADIANCE, a supernatural thriller about a young woman with a dangerous condition, was nominated for best film at the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards, while his claustrophobic psychological drama BENEATH won Best Student Film at the Courant 3D festival in France.
OUT OF DARKNESS has received attention from the British Independent Film Awards for Best Debut Director Cummings, a win for Best Breakthrough for Oakley-Green, Best Music for Adam Bzowski, Best Hair and Makeup for Niamh Morrison and Best Debut Screenplay for Ruth Greenberg.
The story is that of the exploration of this group of humans looking to start their own village. Believing they had found a place that was unoccupied by others, it quickly became clear that humans weren’t the only thing that seem to be missing – there is nothing else either. The sounds coming from the dark seemed to be nothing like they had ever heard before.
Beyah is determined to not only find out what is happening but what is responsible. I enjoyed this character so much because there is the feeling of a young woman who was stronger than those around her realized and had leadership qualities. It reminded me of the articles I have read where women warriors are becoming more mainstream in history than realized, Beyah would certainly fit the bill.
Filmed in much darkness, it adds to the intensity, fear, shock and discovery of the story director Cummings is trying to tell calling it a “paleolithic horror” film. Filmed in the Gairloch in Scotland, the location offers up such a fantastic place with its vast lands, woods, fogs, just perfection. This is a mystery that can lead to death.
In the end – we are them!