Review: Dark Souls – Morke sjeler (2010)


Dark Souls – Morke sjeler (2010)

Directed by: César Ducasse, Mathieu Peteul | 95 minutes | horror, thriller | Actors: Morten Rudå, Kyrre Haugen Sydness, Ida Elise Broch, Johanna Gustavsson, Christopher Angus Campbell, Espen Eckbo, Caroline Støyva Eriksen, Frank Aron Gårdsø, Gustav-Adolf Hegh, Kristian Holter, Jan Hårstad

Killers like heavy tools. Leatherface had his chainsaw, Patrick Bateman had his ax and the psychopath in the Norwegian horror film ‘Dark Souls’ indulges in a jackhammer. The latter is not a real killer, by the way, because instead of killing his victims, he reduces them to greenhouse plants. Not a pleasant prospect.

‘Dark Souls’ starts off nicely, with a young runner who is overpowered by a man in orange overalls during a grooming trip in the woods. He drills a hole in her skull and leaves her for dead. The same day, the girl’s father is called by the police: the body of his daughter has been found and must be identified. The man knows there must have been a misunderstanding, because he saw his daughter come home five minutes ago. However, the girl turns out to be in a catatonic state behind her computer and vomiting black gunk. So she’s not dead, but what’s wrong with her?

While police and medics are groping in the dark, more and more victims of the hobby-lobotomist in the orange overalls start to appear. The runner’s frustrated father therefore decides to start his own investigation. With his half-comatose daughter in the passenger seat, he drives through all the construction sites in Oslo, hoping to catch a glimpse of the culprit. He actually succeeds, but instead of calling the police, he starts the pursuit himself. He stumbles upon a conspiracy that is so strange that only an info-dumping bum can bring clarity to it.

The story of ‘Dark Souls’ sounds more exciting than it is. The low budget shows in the film, especially in the scenes that should have been nice and gross, and the events are portrayed slowly and messy. Furthermore, the man in the overalls also apparently drilled holes in the plot, as there are few characters who act logically or believably. For example, the police and medics seem surprisingly unconcerned about the growing number of gunk-wagglers. And if the professionals are in sleep mode, why bother as a viewer?

The film doesn’t have much of originality either. We still know black gunk that infects people from ‘The X-Files’, drill fanatics from ‘Driller Killer’ and the denouement of ‘Dark Souls’ is almost standard for films in this genre. There is nothing wrong with clichés, as long as they make for an entertaining film. And ‘Dark Souls’ just isn’t entertaining. The film may have won some obscure horror awards, but it doesn’t win our souls.

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