The International Psychological Horror Film of the Year - 'Darkest Night'


Long Synopsis for 'Darkest Night'

The story unfolds as a documentary film by an investigative reporter film producer, Danny Valencia. While digging up information on a suspected crime for a film, he witnesses workmen discovering old videotape at the site of a 2003 tragedy and unsolved crime in the Philippines' Sagada Mountains. This event involved the sudden disappearance of the Espino family, 17 persons, and the leveling of their home on a single night. There are a few interview scenes at the beginning, but most of the film tells the story of what happened, only slightly edited and technically enhanced, but largely as found in the mansion's ruins.

On December 25, 2003, an upscale Filipino family gathers at the Espino home at a remote place in the mountains, some distance from any town or city. They want to celebrate Christmas Day with a dinner and traditional family reunion. The main character, Susan, 26, has just become engaged to an American, Ken, 30, and she wants to introduce him to her family, as well as formally announce their engagement. They drive from Manila to the Sagada Mountains to renew old family ties, allow Ken to make new friendships, and relate the happy news.

Of course, the family is delighted to hear of Susan's upcoming marriage and interested in meeting Ken. However, their holiday and party are disrupted by a series of bizarre, supernatural, and deadly events. The group is cut off from civilization and plunged into darkness by forces that defy natural laws and shut down almost all modern technology. Mysteriously, only the television and video camera continue to operate, as if unseen forces are manipulating the situation. One by one, the famiy members die or disappear in weird and horrific ways. The few who are left, including Susan and Ken, struggle for survival against family conflicts and deadly terrors, to find out what is happening to them and how to survive.

Finally they discover to their own shock, who their true tormentors are, as well as how and why these terrible things are happening. Is it too late to keep the those who remain from dying? What is the fate that awaits them? Is it death, hell or worse? A mystical book they find may hold the key to controlling dark forces that threaten to unleash ghosts from an evil history. However, can they trust each other or even themselves to contain the fears that threaten to destroy them? Suspense and
mystery will keep the viewer unsettled and guessing till the very end, when the fate and outcome of all are finally revealed.

This is a psychological horror film with intense family drama, romance, suspense, action and terror. It contains a minimum of gore, violence and creature special effects. There are no cliche or oft-used thrill gimmicks. The viewer is led step by step into a hellish world of sinister and fantastical events, where the familiar meets the magical, and a most cherished loved one could be a mortal

On the surface, 'Darkest Night' is an entertaining and truly scary thriller, with romance as well. However, for those who want to probe deeper, the story has multiple layers of character and dramatic depth. Like the Japanese film, 'The Pulse', Darkest Night' comments on modern advanced society and technology, including its impact on our closest friendships, lovers and family ties. Like John Carpenter's film, 'The Fog', it also shows how evils from a horrible past can invade our present and destroy us, if we open ourselves up to their influence and darkness.

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