starring Niamh Algar, Stephen Cromwell, Gerry O'Brien, Ged Murray
written and directed by Conor McMahon
by Walter Chaw Conor McMahan's From the Dark is a hell of a film. Sarah (Niamh Algar) and Mark (Stephen Cromwell) are taking a little detour into the moors when they're predictably bogged down as night approaches. What they don't know is that a peat farmer has just been summarily attacked in a stagnant pool after unearthing what appears to be some sort of bog mummy earlier in the day. It's a nifty set-up for a spam-in-a-cabin scenario, and indeed, Mark discovers a ramshackle farmhouse where he and Sarah decide to spend the night--especially once they're attacked by some unseen thing apparently repulsed by light of any kind. It's an amalgam, in other words, of The Descent and Nosferatu: a horror film resting on those genre pillars of transgression, transformation, and contagion that cannily milks every possible light source in its rural environment (cell phones, an old tube television...more would be telling) for surprise and plot points.