Down a Dark Hall (2018) Review
My Bloody Reviews Verdict 8

Down a Dark Hall (2018) Review In an ominous mansion hidden deep within the forest, the Blackwood Boarding School promises to turn rebellious teens into model students by cutting them off from the outside world. Wayward new student Kit Gordy (AnnaSophia Rob) joins four other reluctant teens who are learning to live under the watchful ..

Summary Rating: 8.0 from 10 8.0 great

Down a Dark Hall (2018) Review

Down a Dark Hall (2018) Review

In an ominous mansion hidden deep within the forest, the Blackwood Boarding School promises to turn rebellious teens into model students by cutting them off from the outside world. Wayward new student Kit Gordy (AnnaSophia Rob) joins four other reluctant teens who are learning to live under the watchful eye of Madame Duret (Uma Thurman). However, the misfit group quickly becomes unsettled by Madame Duret’s eccentric and unconventional methods just as inexplicable events begin occurring each night. The girls frantically seek to uncover the terrifying secrets at the heart of their school or risk losing their sanity completely.

When settling down to review director Rodrigo (Buried) Cortés’ Down a Dark Hall, I was expecting something along the lines of the Twilight flicks – light, insipid, fluffy and instantly forgettable – after all, Stephenie Meyer, the writer behind that successful franchise, is one of this film’s producers. However this American-Spanish supernatural film is a different beast entirely, from its exquisite photography and production design through to the terrific performances it’s pleasingly a world away from the usual young-adult orientated fare.

Down a Dark Hall received little in the way of a theatrical release before being shunted onto the home entertainment platforms. That this has happened is not indicative of the film’s standard, sure it received mixed reviews but a lot of movies do; it’s simply that this is increasingly the case now. With distributors reluctant to compete with Disney’s current strangle-hold on the multiplexes this release pattern is becoming more and more commonplace.

The film is based upon the book of the same name by Lois Duncan. Lois Duncan has written a number of suspense and horror novels for the teenage market, such as I Know What You Did Last Summer which has also been adapted into a film. Adapted for the screen by Chris Sparling and Michael Goldbach, this American-Spanish co-production is yet another in a recent crop of TV and film output that is centred on pupils attending a boarding school. From the forthcoming Suspiria remake, to the recent TV adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock and the aptly named horror flick Boarding School, it would appear that private tuition at such establishments is to be avoided at all costs.

Uma Thurman is sheer class, exuding a professional veneer whilst darker motives rumble behind her every glance and utterance. Surprisingly, for such youth-orientated fare, the younger cast members deliver the goods too with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s AnnaSophia Robb nailing the lead roll with aplomb. Visually seductive and full of surprises this has enough going on to enthral viewers. It goes to some very dark places and isn’t afraid to not play safe and this in itself is refreshing in a world of safe, formulaic film offerings.

Down A Dark Hall is out on Digital and DVD 22nd October

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