DARK NATURE is a new survival horror movie. On one hand, it’s a very psychological story full of symbolism. However, on the other hand, it’s also very bloody and violent. Take from it what you will, it’s powerful either way. Read our full Dark Nature movie review here!
DARK NATURE is a new horror movie with a small cast and a dark story. It’s ultimately a very classic survival horror story that had moments where it reminded me of The Descent. So yeah, that’s one powerful association. At other times – earlier in the story – the horror is of a more psychological variety.
The core story has to do with domestic violence and friends trying to get someone away from a bad relationship. In that sense, it also reminded me of Alice, Darling. Another very strong association. Is this movie better than the other two? No. But it is still a really good movie in its own right.
Continue reading our Dark Nature movie review below. In select theaters from May 19 and on VOD on May 23, 2023.
Facing trauma by going through more trauma
Getting over any kind of trauma often involves what feels like going through more trauma. That’s the nature of moving on. There is no “going around” or finding an “easy way”. The only way is through it which is what Dark Nature deals with in a very direct way.
We meet Joy, who is a survivor of domestic violence. She – rather reluctantly – goes with her friend Carmen and her therapy group on a weekend retreat. A very isolated retreat in the Canadian Rockies where they camp out in tents and always have bear spray on hand.
This weekend retreat is led by the enigmatic Dr. Dunnley. A kind woman whose methods are experimental and feel very much like a brutal form of tough love. At times, Joy obviously views these methods as being very questionable. To say the least.
Of course, she also comes with an outside perspective as she hasn’t been part of the therapy group. As the weekend progresses, the experience shatters the border between reality and delusion. Joy becomes convinced that they are being stalked by her abuser. However, she isn’t the only one who starts seeing the cause of her trauma in the Canadian Rockies.
Before it’s all over, everyone in the therapy group will confront a threat more terrifying than the monsters of their past.
Hannah Emily Anderson is the survival girl
The main character of Joy is portrayed by Hannah Emily Anderson. I’ve watched quite a few things with her in a leading role, but the first that comes to mind right now is What Keeps You Alive (2018). It’s also a survival movie, but one that is very different to this one. And yes, I definitely recommend checking it out.
DO CHECK OUT
Also, she was in yet another very familiar survival franchise as one of the stars of The Purge series. I wasn’t very fond of that series ultimately, as it evolved in ways I didn’t really enjoy. And finally, I have to mention that Hannah Emily Anderson was also in Jigsaw. Yes, as in the Saw franchise movie, which is another hardcore survival story franchise!
So, just to make things clear, I’m not saying that Hannah Emily Anderson always survives. I do, however, call her “the survival girl” because she stars in so many of these survival movies (and a series based on a film franchise).
The other actors in Dark Nature include the awesome Madison Walsh (Don’t Say Its Name) as Joy’s friend Carmen, and Daniel Smith Arnold (iZombie) as the abusive boyfriend. Kyra Harper is the doctor helping these trauma victims, who include Roseanne Supernault as a former soldier and Helen Belay as the enigmatic and quirky final participant.
Watch Dark Nature in theaters or on VOD
Dark Nature was directed by Berkley Brady who also wrote the screenplay and came up with the story along with Tim Cairo. This is the first feature film for Berkley Brady and it works remarkably well. Including the runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes, which suits the story very well.
Fortunately, Berkley Brady has already been working on a new project currently in post-production. A horror anthology titled Creepypasta that will be on Screambox from May 23, 2023.
Whether you’re in the mood for a The Descent-like movie (from when Neil Marshall was an amazing horror filmmaker) or one that deals with helping people overcome trauma by pushing them to the other side, there’s something for you in this one. Do check it out!
DARK NATURE will be in select theaters on May 19, On Demand and Digital everywhere on May 23, and on Blu-ray on June 25, 2023.
Director: Berkley Brady
Writers: Berkley Brady, Tom Cairo
Cast: Hannah Emily Anderson, Madison Walsh, Roseanne Supernault, Kyra Harper
A therapy group are forced to confront the monsters of their past when an isolated weekend retreat in the Canadian Rockies tests not only their emotional resilience, but their ability to survive.