Darkness Visible, a new horror film from director Neil Biswas, takes place at the intersection of two cultures.
Ronnie (Jez Deol) was raised in London by his mother and seems to have everything going for him. A talented artist with a beautiful rockstar girlfriend (Salóme Gunnarsdóttir), he really couldn’t ask for more.
On his 28th birthday, he is overcome by sudden inspiration and creates a gorgeous, enigmatic painting. When he shows it to his mother, she is visibly shaken and disappears.
Hours later, he’s woken from a deep sleep by a phone call informing him that his mother has been hit by a car in Kolkata, India, and he heads to the airport traveling to a homeland he’s never visited.
Soon, Ronnie finds himself surrounded by unfamiliar relatives, a string of seemingly serial murders, and a mysterious witch named Rakhee (Seema Biswas) who haunts his dreams and stalks his footsteps in the historic city.
Biswas and his co-writer Ben Hervey have created a film that is both terrifying and visually stunning presenting Western audiences with unfamiliar territory. The culture is a mystery, and the spirits do not play by the same rules as the ones we know.
And that’s where Ronnie comes into play. He is just as unfamiliar as the rest of us, and thus he is our Everyman. Deol is very good in the role projecting his unease in his new environment with and open and honest performance.
Biswas and cinematographer Robby Baumgartner immerse us in the streets of Kolkata amid the colors and sounds of the city, building tension slowly a they introduce each element of Ronnie’s backstory of which even he was not aware.
Prolific composer, Nainita Desai enhances this immersion with her stunning score, blending elements of Western and Eastern to create a unique sound for Ronnie’s exploration.
Darkness Visible is not the kind of film to rely on jump scares, though there are a couple of rather well-placed ones within the film. Biswas, Deol, and the rest of the highly capable cast are far more interested in telling the audience a story about ghosts, demons, and promises that can never be broken, no matter how far you run.
Check out the trailer for Darkness Visible below and look for it in select theaters and video on demand services beginning February 8, 2019.