The Dark Within Review: Scientific Possession of Evil

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: June 17, 2019 (Last updated: December 28, 2023)
The Dark Within review


The Dark Within is a shock-filled horror that mixes science and possession in a blend that works perfectly.

The Dark Within is the latest horror movie from director David Ryan Keith (The Redwood Massacre), starring Paul Flannery (Ghosts of Darkness), Kendra Carelli (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and Niko Foster.

The Dark Within follows a scientific experiment in 1991 that is trying to use mind control between two people, a viewing experience run by Dr. Andrew Blaine (Foster), only for it to go horribly wrong. Moving to the modern day, Marcus (Flannery) is involved in therapy to help him with his memories and troubles, as he tries to put his life back together with his ex-girlfriend, Sarah (Carelli), and understand why he is being haunted by the strange figures which see him return to his parent’s cabin in the woods, where the hauntings increase to new levels, but the truth will come out for him.

The Dark Within brings us a story that is best described as a scientific version of The Evil Dead. I say this because we see one man being haunted by visions and creatures that do come from the world of possession that were created with the idea of a scientific motivation, while one man is starting to question his own sanity in a cabin in the woods, where he doesn’t know who or what he can trust, even what he sees with his own eyes. The story does unfold like a puzzle which sees Marcus learn small pieces of what happened after the opening sequence, each piece becoming more surprising as it is revealed, which is a delight to watch in horror because we don’t want to be spoon-fed answers, we want shocks along the way.


The Dark Within reunites director David Ryan Keith and Paul Flannery who previously worked on Ghosts of Darkness; the two manage to pull off this second outing together as we let Paul Flannery carry the on-screen work of the film, showing us how his character is unstable and on the verge of losing his mind, while trying to desperately remember his past, which will unlock the truth. When we look at the supporting cast, we do get strong performances throughout, with each star getting their chance to shine when required to. Gavin Park as the creature must get some praise because the movements he brings to the screen add to the horror of the creature’s appearance.

The Dark Within uses the horror genre to create the unknown; the use of the cabin in the woods adds to isolation used through the film, escalating the horrors that Marcus is going through, with the idea that anything inside this cabin could have answers. It does continue the Evil Dead references because you never know what could bring the scare next. We have a creature that is just pure terror, whose presence becomes larger as the story unfolds. By the end of this film, you will see many elements of the horror genre used; it does help us get into the unstable mindset of Marcus because we never know what to trust in the reality of the world he is in now.

Overall The Dark Within is another wonderful horror film from director David Ryan Keith, who is continuing to make a name for himself in the indie horror scene. We get scares, uncertainty and a story that will just keep us guessing until the end.

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