Mike O’Mahony, director and writer most noted for Sloppy the Psychotic [2012] and Deadly Detour [2011], takes the audience on a macabre journey with his creation A Dark Place Inside, while focusing on the mindset of Andy (Chris Dalbey) who seeks the ideal woman, his own Bride of Frankenstein. The film is a low-budget production and differs from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer [1986], many filmmakers take the opportunity to present a film about a serial killer, as representation of society feeding upon itself in a destructive manner.

The film contains an evolving, disturbing, and surreal experience of a character driven storyline that portrays a homicidal maniac with perhaps an underlying contention of a suicidal mind, for the abuse suffered in his childhood and he is conducting himself in general life. As for the childhood upbringing, a refreshing development hugely exposed in this film, the abuse from both parents, a rapist beating father and an afterthought from his mother played by Genoveva Rossi (Witches Blood [2014]). The script obviously leans on minimal dialogue, and more of a visual point of view per the killer, than the victim’s fears and worries, focusing everything into Andy’s realm, and his monster creation.  Mike presents an interesting subtext, about tone influence of nightmarish realities, as a child learns behaviors from their parents and adults, which changes a child’s innocence to sickness of the mind, and conversely the domestic abuse completely unapologetic to all human traits and transcend to the character portrayal.

Chris Dalbey brings nervous ticks, and mimics social norms, yet preaches very bizarre statements, including justified rape and brutalization, obviously learned from his growing years, and tries very hard to hide his monster in traditional society. The stylization of the film mirrors Andy’s life, dirty and fuzzy, and yet executes a higher standard, for indie horror, accompanied by intensely horrific atmospheric sounds, yet a slight detraction, the camera tends to linger too long, not specifically on an object or foreshadowing, perhaps attempting to create suspense. However, this aspect is misplaced in the direct point of the story, Andy alone brings a sense of fear and loathing, with unease to his mere presence. His viewpoint, every woman, reminds him of a piece of the ideal woman, each co-worker, parents, and women in general, and his inventory of weapons, makes him the human version of Jason Voorhees. This conveys into gory graphic classic special effects, and never releases to the tame portion regardless of the moment, or extracurricular activities that Andy engages in with willful disregard for his own safety, a god-like mentality. Mike continues to drill downward into the human psyche and at the same continues to spiral the film upward to a noteworthy piece for gore-hounds and serial killer fans.

The few negatives of the film find themselves in minor plot points, such as his rising victim’s body count, of either incomplete police work or not newsworthy, for Andy does not seem like the careful stalker nor is that ever revealed to the audience. However, perhaps as countermeasure and a pre-thought cursory the usage of different weapons and the disposal of lengthy walk dropping off pieces ominously. A touching moment finds itself in the film, as Andy’s disposing of a lady friend, he stumbles across a father and son (Anthony Edward Curry) fishing and show the briefest suggestion of happiness recalling a positive time in his youth. O’Mahony’s film is only for certain individuals those that crave the darker cinema and have a fondness for understanding the immortal values of a bleak man’s approach to society and creepiness in general. His actions indirectly seem as crossing the genre line into a revenge film towards his father and especially his mother, her incapable motherly instincts of failure to protect, leading to this sick and disturbing methodically of life in general and becoming a perverse demon like mindset that only unique horror fans would understand and enjoy with a passion. One must note that the actor who plays Andy as a boy, Kieran Boyle, does a wonderful job, and during a Q&A with Rossi, at the Bizarre AC II, reveals his parents were on set with careful consideration for the scenes, due the controversial nature of the abusing display.

This film truly captures the full circle of a serial killer on the low-budget side, and some interesting locations rather than limiting itself to a one room locations, as many films find themselves doing, in order to convey a psychological impact of a claustrophobe and impending doom and dread for the audience to fear. A Dark Place Inside truly refers to the inner workings of the mind and the rational of the formative years have lasting impressions for the adult to endure sometimes longing for a love that appears outside of one’s grasp, and Mike delivers on all accounts, especially in the conclusion of the movie.

This review was originally published on the now non-existent Rogue Cinema website in December 2015.


IMDb Rating: 4.4/10

Baron’s Rating: 4.5/10