Filmmakers find influence from Hitchcock to Carpenter but even some have ventured to Lynch / Cronenberg, which Jay Woelfel (Closed for the Season (2010)) who write and directed a strange mix of horror and fantasy while giving nods to classic cinema all included in his production Asylum of Darkness released by Wild Eye Releasing. The viewer needs to know two things this expands of the original proof of concept film entitled Season of Darkness (2012) and reshot with a higher budget and likely to leave one thoroughly baffled by the sequence of events within the film.
After awakening in a mental asylum, Dwight Stroud (Nick Baldasare (They Bite (1996)) meets his doctor Dr. Shaker (Richard Hatch, most remember him for his role in Battlestar Galactica as Captain Apollo (1978)) seeming quite focused and keen for release. Just one problem, he did something terrible, still in denial, suffering from delusions, yet unable to admit to his hidden secrets, he also sees his doctor as a rotting corpse. After his meeting, a strange woman comes to visit him, named Hope (Tiffany Shepis) though relatively small. Then we meet a bizarre friend of his nicknamed Van Gogh (Frank Jones Jr.) who paints powerful pictures, one of dead bird and one falls from the sky, this gives Dwight the insight to have him paint a way to escape the hospital. The audience quickly seeing him in a cemetery with faceless corpses and a disturbing world the pace increases inferring the speed of the mind. Dwight encounters a car accident and somehow transfers himself (mind and soul) into the victim’s life, and once more the film switches gears, to an even faster series of stranger occurrences. It’s likely to perceive as confusion for the viewer, Dwight appears to jump in a person and use their body like that of Shocker (1989). Once in the new person’s home he knows alarm codes, clothes fit nicely and his wife (Amanda Howell) recognize for who appears as, which being understood he’s a jackass. Dwight continues the visions of death, murders, and the asylum while plagued by an investigator named Kesler (Tim Thomerson).
As for the horror classic old school techniques along with modern flair giving disgusting and gross, the gore makes itself present and effectively delivers. The acting tries to sell a good story, however the storytelling far too odd to keep the attention of the average viewer, and yet not quite the arthouse, basically a lot of David Lynch influence but lacking story make for a stumbling script and plot problems.
First, the film clocks in at nearly 2-hours, far to drawn out, I mean this not A Beautiful Mind (2001) which conveys the story of madness and yet keeps the audience informed. This movie just zany insanity, trying to expose the insanity in one’s mind, but can’t quite handle the transcending actions to the interest of the viewers. Simply a film needs to avoid the fluff and tell the story in a straight manner and keep the audience informed with entertainment, this does not do that as the pacing ruins a lot of the film.
IMDb Rating: 3.4/10
Baron’s Rating: 3/10