DEEP DARK (2015)
Written and directed by Michael Medaglia
UK Premiere on June 3rd 2015 at the Sci-Fi-London Film Festival
Herman Haig is a struggling young artist. Making mobiles out of anything he can find, he thinks he’s the next big thing but in reality, his artwork is rubbish. Itching to get his work seen by local gallery owner Devora Klein and with his mother pressuring him to get a real job, Herman realises that this is his last chance of a big break. After speaking to his successful artist Uncle for advice, he rents out his Uncle’s old apartment which will apparently give him all the inspiration he’ll need to make brilliant art. Upon moving into the apartment, Herman discovers the ‘inspiration’ is quite literal when he comes into contact with a talking hole in the wall which promises to help him create successful art projects.
Fantasy horror DEEP DARK is a charming yet disturbing piece of film from director Michael Medaglia. Its focus on a wannabe artist is one we can all relate to. Herman’s ambition outweighs his actual talent though he delusionally thinks otherwise and is prolonging his dreams as much as he can to avoid facing reality and the boring prospect of a 9 to 5 job doing something he hates. We all dream of doing something we love for a living but when Herman is presented with that opportunity and to be a success, he snaps it up straight away. Although, success stories, inspiration and business partners aren’t usually a female voice emerging from a hole in the wall. What the hole wants in return for helping Herman sounds quite reasonable at first, but Herman gradually begins to doubt his involvement when their partnership turns more intense.
The opening scene of a man lying in bed, awakening to sounds of a peacock outside, and discovering a chain poking out of his stomach near his belly button is without a doubt one of the most disturbing openers I’ve ever seen, particularly when the character starts to pull on the chain and the blood begins to flow out. My jaw literally hung open in disbelief, traumatised at what I’d just seen. Michael Medaglia certainly knows how to grab the viewer’s attention right from the very start. The rest of the movie is quite upbeat in contrast, with a comical if clumsy vibe to it to mimic the character of Herman Haig. As the drama unfolds and Herman’s relationship with the hole in the wall develops, the bright colours and upbeat vibe begins to descend into a dark, warped void.
Sean McGrath is perfectly cast as Herman, as are the rest of the cast, in particular Denise Poirier who manages to bring personality to what is essentially a voice in the wall. With seductive charms, it’s hard to resist saying no to the hole, especially when it’s offering the key to success. Would you make the same choice if in Herman’s position?
DEEP DARK is a blast to watch. Keeping the pace flowing at all times, we discover what kind of life Herman has and how important his artwork means to him. A failure, with fellow artists rubbing his nose in their success, he’d do anything to be a triumph which is where writer/director Michael Medaglia excels in create an uncomfortable atmosphere for both the viewer and Herman himself. Expect to be taken on a journey of emotions because that’s exactly where you’ll be heading.
Magnificently shot and edited, DEEP DARK is a surreal, gripping tale of what one man will do for success and how partnerships aren’t without consequence. Dark, twisted and utterly captivating, Michael Medaglia proves he has the skills to create something so beautiful yet terrifying at the same time.
A definite must watch!