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Descent Into Darkness: My European Nightmare (2013) – Movie Review

Descent Into Darkness: My European Nightmare (2013) - Movie Review

Deep in the rather stale depths of my dad’s Amazon Prime account, I stumbled across a 2013 horror/thriller offering from director Rafaël Cherkaski. Now, it didn’t exactly have the most original of Found Footage DVD covers (a camcorder covered with blood), but it managed to scream out “watch me” all the same.

Well I’m glad it caught my attention.

First things first – I should point out that this movie is apparently floating about under two different names, so if you want to find it, keep the following two titles in mind:

  • Descent Into Darkness: My European Nightmare
  • Sorgoï Prakov: My European Dream

I recommend getting out there and looking for it as soon as possible…

The Plot

A journalist from an Eastern European country arrives in Paris to start a tour of European capitals. His intention is to make a documentary about the European dream. Between fascination and difficulty of adaptation, Sorgoï struggles to complete his project and his expedition drives him to a devastating state of madness.

Something’s Coming…

This was one of those unknown films that latches onto you after about twenty minutes of viewing time, and you have no idea why really?

There’s something there – something’s coming, but you don’t know when it’s going to appear.

To be blatantly honest with you – I had no idea what I was watching for the first 40 minutes or so, and I thought they had placed it in the horror category by mistake.

But I was wrong – very wrong.

Conclusion 

I can safely say that the last thirty minutes of this movie blew my mind – it was a Found Footage experience that will stand out in the genre, and it’s thoroughly original.

I strongly believe that this is a Found Footage movie that will even manage to covert of few of the ‘Found Footage Haters’ out there – it has that something special, it has managed to create it’s own sub-genre.

I was really impressed by how the film moved from the first twenty minutes into the final straight, because I’ll be honest with you – I didn’t hold out much hope through the first few scenes of the movie!

Seriously, I thought it was a joke at first – like a zero-budget version of Borat.

At the end of the day, it plays on the fact that certain people will always fail to make perfect sense of Western cultures, and because of this, they will always end up in sticky situations.

I’m trying not to hit any spoilers here, because the movie will take you in all the correct directions, but the film does a wonderful job of eventually creating sympathy around/for the main character.

Descent Into Darkness doesn’t disappoint one bit, even though it is pulled through on a zero-budget. The acting switches from comedic and generally funny, into frightening and concerning, within the blink of an eye.

The cinematography is very European – so there’s no complaints there (great scenery).

But this is a well written film.

Sure there are a few potholes left here and there (I won’t mention them), but it works and works well. There are not many ‘original’ or ‘unique’ ideas coming out in this genre these days, so I’d recommend seeing this film as soon as you can get hold of it.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Chris

6 Comments

  1. Great recommendation. Maybe, I am cold-hearted, but I had no sympathy for him. His phone call to his mother hinted to issues not related to his being a stranger in a strange land. I think the actor, writer, producer and director is immensely talented.

    • Yeah that phone call sort of hinges the whole film really – hinting towards the fact that he was a complete nutter before he even went on his ‘trip’.

  2. I watched this last night after seeing your review. Great recommendation. I thought the pacing and building of atmosphere was really well done, and he was an engaging actor and character. Though I couldn’t stop thinking he looked like Chris Kamara

    • No way – Kammy off Sky Sports (good call!). I’m old enough to remember him in his playing days!

  3. Wanted to watch this so bad. Couldn’t find it anywhere on the internet. 🙁 (For free, that is :D) :(((

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