From Black Movie Review

Written by Samantha Andujar

Released by Shudder


Written and directed by Thomas Marchese
2023, 110 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Released on 28th April 2023

John Ales as Abel
Jennifer Lafleur as Bray
Anna Camp as Cora
Ian Casselberry as Moya
Alicia S. Mason as Simmons


Director Thomas Marchese confidently introduces his new Shudder release, From Black, with a powerful quote from Mathew Stover: "The dark is generous, and it's patient, and it always wins." The film tells a poignant story of a mother's struggle with drug addiction and the heart-wrenching loss of her son. From Black delves deep into the idea of what one would do to bring a loved one back from the dead while raising the crucial question of the ultimate cost of doing so. Marchese skillfully weaves a haunting tale of grief, pain, and loneliness, all set against the compelling musical backdrop of Luigi Janssen's unique and potent film scoring, something that remains a centerpiece and a source of poetic tension throughout the film.

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Anna Camp's range as an actress goes beyond her comedic performances in Pitch Perfect, as she proves with her impressive portrayal of Cora; she also holds an executive producer seat in this project. Paired up with the incredible talents of John Ales as Abel, the two bounce off each other well, especially within the first half of the film when both are discussing and eventually find genuine companionship through loss. The heart of this film lies in the dynamic between its two main characters. Their outstanding performances and ability to navigate intense situations much heavier and darker than themselves are significant strengths of the movie.

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The use of demonic imagery in From Black is reminiscent of Del Toro's work and adds significantly to the intense drama. The atmosphere chills and creates a sense of foreboding, making the most terrifying and sorrowful scenes impactful. The movie handles these moments excellently, although the direction and pacing within its chapters are weak in some areas. While the film provides unique perspective of grief and trauma for the first half of the film, From Black somewhat struggles midway to keep its mood sustained successfully. However, the great characters, atmospheric tension, and a standout unconventional antagonist overshadow some of these problems.

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Overall, From Black provides a solid, atmospheric horror experience. Although it may take some patience to get through its slow-burn pace and occasional loss of direction, it is a gem in the horror genre. The film's score, well-crafted protagonists, and use of eerie and well-timed graphic scenes all add to its value as a horror movie.


Movie: 3 Star Rating Cover

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Samantha Andujar
Staff Reviewer
A music journalist and artist with an appetite for rock music, videogames and horror, Samantha Andujar is the creator of Into the Void and a writer for Outburn and Spill Magazine when she's not binge watching and analyzing horror films or drawing the characters that inspire them for work of her own.
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