DARK FORCES is a new Netflix Horror movie. It’s from Mexico which means it’s in Spanish (org. title Fuego negro). The best way to describe this would probably be to call it an artsy vampire story. Read our full Dark Forces review here and check it out on Netflix now!
DARK FORCES is a new Netflix Horror movie from Mexico (org. title Fuego negro). Obviously, this means it’s in Spanish. Since we’ve watched a lot of awesome Spanish-language genre productions, this is always a good starting point. This one, however, was not really my cup of tea.
With this particular Netflix movie, there’s a lot to unpack in just around 80 minutes of runtime. This definitely won’t be for everyone (it wasn’t for me) but I appreciate the very distinct style and high production quality.
Continue reading our Dark Forces review below.
An artsy vampire story
With Dark Forces, we’re dealing with a very artsy vampire story that seems inspired by Susperia. At the same time, it also feels a bit like Sin City but with color added (Suspiria style) and a much slower pace.
In some ways, it was reminiscent of Twin Peaks. However, a series like Twin Peaks can work because we [the audience] have many episodes to understand the characters of that series. With this movie, we have less than an hour and a half to understand all the symbolism and character motivation.
Again, I get what the director is trying to achieve, but I can’t claim it worked for me. Animas on Netflix was a similar experience but that one worked much better and had a tighter grip on both story, characters, and the use of color symbolism.
You might like: Our review of the 2019 movie Ánimas here >
Also, the sex scenes of Dark Forces do become very crude and gratuitous. Especially the second one!
Now, I am definitely a fan of slow-burn vampire stories, so this style is fine by me. With Dark Forces, it just felt forced. As if the story was build up around wanting to get certain shots incorporated into the movie.
The cast of Dark Forces
You might not recognize many actors in Dark Forces, but you should certainly recognize one; Eréndira Ibarra. She was in Sense8 and also in the Mexican Netflix series Ingobernable. Up next for Eréndira Ibarra is the upcoming The Matrix 4 (2022). In Dark Forces, her role is one big trope, but she is good as always.
Also in this movie is Tenoch Huerta, who you will know if you’ve watched the amazing Sin Nombre (2009) by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Fukunaga also co-wrote the screenplay for IT: Chapter 1 (2017).
Whether you know any of the actors or not, this movie is all about style. That means several unknown actors are hired for their quirks and special appearance, which does work perfectly within this story. However, it also highlights the fact that Dark Forces is all about form and not so much function.
Watch Dark Forces on Netflix now!
Dark Forces was written and directed by Bernardo Arellano. He has done five feature films so far and always writes his own scripts as well. Basically, he gets the glory when it’s good and also the blame if it is not. In the case of this particular movie, it feels like a beginner project of someone with a distinct style.
This might sound harsh, but I mean it as a compliment; He isn’t afraid of going all out with the stylism, but he needs the story to be much better for it all to come together. In my opinion, anyway!
I haven’t watched any of his previous movies, but I am definitely intrigued by the plot of his 2014 movie El comienzo del tiempo (The Beginning of Time is the English title).
I get the feeling that this Netflix movie will find its audience on Netflix, but I also believe this audience could have been much bigger if the movie was more accomplished. However, as stated earlier, I do have faith in this director’s ability to make movies, so I’m looking forward to his next project.
Dark Forces is out on Netflix from August 21, 2020.
Director: Bernardo Arellano
Writer: Bernardo Arellano
Stars: Tenoch Huerta, Eréndira Ibarra, Mauricio Aspe, Johana Fragoso Blendl, Dale Carley
In search of his sister, a renegade criminal seeks answers at a sordid hotel where he encounters a sinister guest and romances a mysterious waitress.