THEY WAIT IN THE DARK is a new horror-thriller with a story that is initially quite simple, but does have a drastic twist. It’s a low-budget movie with a strong cast. Unfortunately, the story itself lost me towards the end. Read our full They Wait in the Dark movie review here!
THEY WAIT IN THE DARK is a horror-thriller with few characters and a supernatural element. For the longest time, I was impressed with this low-budget indie production. Even the special effects work remarkably well for the most part.
Ultimately, however, there’s a twist in the movie that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Admittedly, it’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine, and I won’t go much into detail to avoid spoilers. It’s a classic “red herring”-move where I feel like the storytelling utilizes lies rather than “just” tricking or “lulling” the audience into making incorrect assumptions.
Continue reading our They Wait in the Dark movie review below.
A woman on the run
Having your main character be a woman on the run with a young child in tow is a good way to get emotional traction right from the start. Amy (Sarah McGuire) is on the run from her ex-girlfriend Judith (Laurie Catherine Winkel). Already there, we have a small twist on the classic domestic abuse story. It’s still rare that an LGBTQ relationship is shown in this way.
They have a son, Adrian (Patrick McGee), and he is truly a cute and charming little boy. He is clearly trying to take care of his mom while understanding that they could not stay with his other mom any longer. A stab wound on Amy’s torso makes this very obvious.
To really hide from Judith, Amy takes Adrian to her childhood home. Her mom died when she was around Adrian’s age and her father has recently passed away. In other words, the house is just abandoned and now bares the marks of having been used as a place to party and crash at.
All of this is a solid set-up for the supernatural story that comes next.
That damn red herring
I love a good mystery or a twist that truly shocks me. I tend to never forget the movies that can actually deliver on this. We’re talking The Sixth Sense, Saw, Orphan and Get Out. Or how about The Invitation, Gone Girl, or the original Planet of the Apes. Hell, even the “I am your father” of The Empire Strikes Back. So many amazing moments with solid twists that are iconic.
In They Wait in the Dark, there is a good twist that just has a touch of the lazy “red herring”-meets-lies. Again, my pet peeve, but I just cannot enjoy a twist that goes against almost everything we’ve been shown and/or lead to believe. I just get irritated rather than wowed.
Having said that, I found Sarah McGuire to deliver a very strong performance as Amy, while the young Patrick McGee was very natural as her son, Adrian. Judith, the ex-girlfriend they’re on the run from, is portrayed by Laurie Catherine Winkel, who also works really well.
I did find that she’s been asked to go a bit too over-the-top at times, but that ties into my main pet peeve. With a few tweaks, this could’ve been even stronger and the twist would’ve actually worked for me as well.
Watch They Wait in the Dark on digital platforms!
This new indie horror movie was written and directed by Patrick Rea. He has been making genre films – feature and short films – for years. His productions are often screened at genre film festivals and he has won several awards for them.
To be fair, however, his movies do tend to have rather low ratings on IMDb. A movie like Nailbiter (2013) has a rating of 4.2 but it also won six awards at various horror film festivals including Shriekfest 2012.
Basically, his movies are not for everyone but genre fans tend to like them. Despite my grievance about the twist – that just did not work entirely for me – I can relate. If you like indie horror movies and want a story with a supernatural twist, then do check out this one.
They Wait in the Dark is available Digitally on February 7, 2023.
Director: Patrick Rea
Writer: Patrick Rea
Cast: Sarah McGuire, Patrick McGee, Laurie Catherine Winkel, Paige Maria, Chris Bylsma, Meagan Flynn
Amy (McGuire) and her adopted son Adrian (McGee) are on the run from Amy’s abusive ex-girlfriend, Judith (Winkel). Desperate to stay hidden, they take refuge in the abandoned farmhouse of Amy’s family outside her Kansas hometown. Soon, though, a supernatural force from Amy’s dark past begins haunting Adrian. With the vengeful Judith in pursuit, Amy and Adrian find themselves locked in a showdown between the threats both outside and in.