Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Dark End of the Street: A Thriller / Mystery Cloaking An Exploration of Neighborhood and Relationship

Release date: August 11, 2020
Running time: 69 minutes
Starring:  Scott Friend, Brooke Bloom, Lindsay Burdge 

Residents of a suburban community enjoy a night at home with their friends and family, while an ominous threat looms just outside their doors.  Dark End of the Street is an odd movie to qualify.  The underlying aspect of this movie is that there is a threat that is harming neighborhood pets; some sick neighborhood individual is mutilating animals, and it is just starting to be known in the area.  This has caused the pet owners in the neighborhood to nervously watch their pets and stay on edge at every sound.  And as night approaches, these fears are only heightened.  However, the horror aspect is only there to setup the characters and neighborhood.  It seems that the movie itself is more about exploring family, relationships, friendships, and the choices that we make.  

One thing that is interesting about this film is that although there is a very real threat in the neighborhood, this movie is less about that and more about friendships and relationships, especially those that form in a neighborhood setting.  Relationships of all types and ages are explored, those between young friends, new friends, old neighbors, and within your own family.  This really is more of a people study and less a thriller.  There are some aspects of mystery in the film, notably who the animal killer is (although that is telegraphed early on) and where that killer will strike next.  But that seems to take a backburner to the real interest of the film: the characters and their relationships.

And thankfully, the characters are believable and acted well.  I definitely enjoyed seeing all the interactions between the various people and families in their day to day lives and seeing their reactions to the shocking news.  I also very much appreciated the diversity in the film, neighborhoods are rarely homogeneous and this film captured that perfectly.  The writing is natural and believable, and lets you feel at ease with these characters.  Their conversations are easy to follow and let the viewer sit back and enjoy this interesting movie.  It also has some fantastic, otherworldly music that sets a perfect tone.  It accentuates the moods in the film perfectly, while being just noticeable enough but not distracting.  

If there are any flaws with this film, they are minor indeed.  The main complaint is the relatively short length.  This movie clocks in at 69 minutes and I would have loved to have more interactions between these characters and more suspense with the overall threat.  Additionally, part way through a band is featured, and although I didn't mind the song it seemed like the film lingered for a while on them playing it.  With such a short movie I didn't want to lose a chunk to this band; I wanted to see more characters.  

Dark End of the Street uses an ominous threat as a refreshingly different vehicle to explore relationships, neighborhoods, family, and strong emotions. 

Rent it.

For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.
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