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Dark Stories Movie Main

Dark Stories DVD Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Scream Factory

Dark Stories Dvd Large

Directed by Guillaume Lubrano and Francois Descraques
Written by various
2019, 102 minutes, Not rated
Released on August 10th, 2021

Starring:
Kristanna Loken as Christine
Michelle Ryan as Carrie
Dominique Pinon as Jean Luc
Tiphaine Daviot as Audrey
Sébastien Lalanne as Franck
Slimane-Baptiste Berhoun as Samir
Delphine Chanéac as Alice

Dark Stories Dvd 01 Dark Stories Dvd 02

Review:

Greetings kiddies! Here’s a playfully nasty little nugget for your late-night horror enjoyment, Dark Stories, a recent Euro-horror flick promising five jolting tales of terror to make your skin crawl. This anthology features a decent variety of genre creatures, including ghouls, zombies, ghosts, aliens and an evil djinn to keep your nerves on edge. Each short story runs under twenty minutes and is linked by the framing device of a woman terrorized by a creepy sentient doll and forced to tell spooky stories to keep it from killing her and her son.

Dark Stories first appeared on French television as an episodic series that has now been re-edited and re-packaged as a feature film to reach a wider audience. It follows the standard template of a selection of short vignettes connected by a wraparound tale that likely contains a twist ending. What helps this one stand out within the increasingly crowded subgenre is that all of these stories are actually pretty entertaining. There are script issues and some unevenness in impact, but there aren’t any real stinkers in the bunch. Let’s take a closer look.

Dark Stories Dvd 03 Dark Stories Dvd 04

The first story, The Ghoul Feast, is set in a museum as a new exhibit is being installed. A collection of strange paintings have arrived and the curator (Delphine Chanéac, Splice) decides to include them. Soon, people start disappearing and it is discovered that the paintings are alive and filled with hungry monsters! It’s up to a security guard and the curator to contain the creatures and restore order.

Next up is The Ghosts of the Park, a much darker tale about a lady jogger who crosses paths with a novice runner and agrees to help him train. When left alone on a bench, she falls asleep and wakes to a haunting nightmare filled with ghosts and eerie dolls.

Dead but Alive begins in a morgue where a mortician is shocked to see a corpse return to life. The zombie means him no harm, as it is on a mission to get revenge on the gangsters that killed him and rescue their captives.

The strongest story, Boughtat, focuses on Audrey (Tiphaine Daviot, Marianne), who has recently returned from traveling abroad and is now suffering sleep paralysis. Her nightmares prove to have a sinister origin, as she is being haunted by an evil djinn. She reaches out to an old college friend for help freeing her of this curse, but some evils are not very easily escaped

The Last Judgement, finds a young journalist and her assistant visiting a remote farm, where a strange man tells her he has been visited by aliens who tell him he is the new savior. His family thinks he is crazy and the journalist is skeptical to say the least, but the night will find them all questioning their beliefs. Starring Michelle Ryan (Cockneys vs. Zombies) and Dominique Pinon (The City of Lost Children) as the journalist and the man who believes in aliens.

Dark Stories Dvd 05 Dark Stories Dvd 06

The wraparound segment stars Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) as Christine, the captive woman forced to tell scary stories. This tale dovetails into a piece called The Blood Doll that focuses on a nunnery and an infant that only drinks blood.

Dark Stories is a French production with an international cast and dialogue in both French and English. Directed by Guillaume Lubrano and Francois Descraques, the film moves at a brisk pace, due in part to its roots in episodic TV. All of the stories are set at night and are appropriately spooky and occasionally suspenseful. The biggest hurdle this movie faces is its rather generic title which quickly fades into the endless sea of books and movies featuring variations of names beginning with “Dark __________”.

Dark Stories Dvd 07 Dark Stories Dvd 08

Video and Audio:

Picture quality is sharp with the image presented in the 2.00:1 aspect ratio. There is a surprising level of detail present and colors really pop. Black levels are spot on without any signs of compression or digital noise.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix proves worthy with a fair amount of activity in the rear channels. Music cues are engaging without becoming intrusive and dialogue levels are always distinct and understandable. A Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is also included. As stated above the dialogue is spoken in both French and English with optional English subtitles included for anyone in need.

Dark Stories Dvd 09 Dark Stories Dvd 10

Special Features:

There are six “making of” segments that follow the usual template of documenting life on the set between takes. Each featurette focuses on an individual short story with a series of behind-the-scenes videos shot during production; these include:

Boughtat (14 minutes)
The Last Judgement (13 minutes)
The Blood Doll (14 minutes)
The Ghoul Feast (13 minutes)
The Ghosts of the Park (13 minutes)
Dead but Alive (14 minutes)

There is one additional featurette, The Little Dark Stories Shop (12 minutes), that spotlights the building of the make-up effects and creation of the digital effect elements.

The original trailer is also included.

Dark Stories Dvd 11 Dark Stories Dvd 12

Grades:

Movie: Threeandahalfstars Cover
Buy Amazon Us
Cover
Buy Amazon Uk
Video: Threeandahalfstars
Audio: Threeandahalfstars
Features: Threestars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
ZigZag
Author: ZigZag
Staff Reviewer - USA
ZigZag's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
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