🎃 Octoberween Foreplay:
A DARK SONG
I had the memory that I hated this when I watched it before and wouldn’t consider a rewatch. Then, looking through the films I’d watched the past couple of years, saw I gave it a decent score (3 stars) with a comment about watching it again: “Gotta watch this one again. Interesting nd so something I would write.” So I did.
A woman buys a house, very specific in her needs, and has been looking a long time. Then she meets a an occultist for coffee. There’s no clear idea what’s going to happen, which is such a great setup. Eventually, we learn the two are going to perform a ritual that will allow the woman to talk to son, who was abducted a few years prior. Michael, the occultist, will also be granted a favor for performing the ritual. These “favors” are granted by a guardian angel, called through a long series of rituals—long as in months. But Sophia isn’t being entirely honest, and her lies cause Michael to have accidents.
They seal the house inside a ring of salt and begin.
I think this is where I kinda fazed out a bit the first time. The rituals, while interesting and intricate, don’t really have anything relatable and feel made up as they go. And there’s a LOT of time spent with it. Second time through, it wasn’t as bad but still a bit draggy. The pacing doesn’t get too bogged down as there are little nuggets that suggest something otherworldly is happening around them: scratching under the floorboards, doors opening, typical haunted house stuff.
I wrote in last year’s review it was something I’d write. I can still see that, though likely better than something I’d write. It’s definitely deliberately paced, but the spooky moments deliver, the tension between the two of them as the rituals continue is palpable and some of the visuals are interesting (the patterns drawn on the floor get more intricate, something I didn’t remember).
Overall, it’s not a fun film; it takes a toll on the viewer as the two are tormented by their undertaking and the solitude and detachment from the world.