Coming Home in the Dark
Credit: Gold_Fish_Creative

Fantasia Fest 2021 Review: ‘Coming Home in the Dark’ Is Dark, Brutal, and Shocking!

One of my favorite films from Fantasia International Film Festival is Coming Home in the Dark. I recently interviewed Daniel Gillies (check it out – HERE) and we talked about this film a bit and damn he wasn’t wrong about this film being dark! The film wad directed by James Ashcroft as well as written by himself and Eli Kent. It stars Daniel Gillies (Vampire Diaries, The Originals), Erik Thomson, Matthias Luafutu, and Miriama McDowell.

Coming Home in the Dark

Synopsis for Coming Home in the Dark

A family’s idyllic outing at an isolated coastline descends into terror when high school teacher Alan ‘Hoaggie’ Hoaganraad, his wife Jill, and stepsons Maika and Jordon unexpectedly come across a pair of murderous drifters – the enigmatic psychopath Mandrake and his hulking man-child accomplice Tubs – who thrust them into a nightmare road trip. At first, the family’s terror seems to be born of a random encounter with two sociopaths, but as the night drags on, Hoaggie and Jill realize that this nightmare was set in motion 20 years earlier; and as they approach their mysterious final destination, Mandrake reveals the horrible secret driving his actions.

What stars out as a beautifully family outing, turns into the ultimate nightmare within minutes in Coming Home in the Dark. Holy shit, I didn’t expect this film to be THIS dark, but it is shocking, depressing, and as the story continues all hope is loss. This film was a shining example of how some trauma never goes away and sometimes karma comes a knocking when you least expect it.

This film has a great cast with extraordinary acting. Erik Thomson and Miriama McDowell give heart-breaking and emotionally driven performances that will gut-wrench you. Matthias Luafutu doesn’t speak much, but he doesn’t need to. One look from him delivers chills down your spine. I’ve been a huge from Daniel Gillies since the beginning of his career, but this is quite his performance in Coming Home in the Dark was not like anything I’ve seen before. His character comes off as depraved and ruthless, and although those things are true, there’s far more to him than meets the eye. He’s broken and has nothing left to lose.

The chilling atmosphere and dark tone of the film delivers a constant feeling of dread and hopelessness. You keep wondering why is this all happening, but Coming Home in the Dark surprises audiences with some twists and turns that will make your stomach turn.

The subject material that is dealt with throughout Coming Home in the Dark, should be watched with caution and the right mind set. It’s depressing and not an easy watch. That being said, if you can stomach it, I highly recommend checking it out. Dark Sky Film will be releasing Coming Home in the Dark in select theaters, digital, and VOD beginning October 1st, 2021!

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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