I was intrigued when I started seeing the festival people warn about the movie being intense because while I enjoy watching an intense movie they can sometimes leave me a wreck afterwards. I have to say that this didn’t completely wreck me but hot damn did it fuck with me. The movie was Coming Home in the Dark and damn did it deliver on everything.
I’m not going to go into the plot because I think everyone should go into this dark. I do want to highlight a couple of performances. Daniel Gillies is terrifying in his role as Mandrake. I had mostly only seen him in The Vampire Diaries and it’s connected shows and in Spider-Man 2 so my experience with his acting skills were surface level even though his role in The Vampire Diaries was villainous. His role in this left me wholly uneasy as soon as he stepped onscreen. Erik Thomson as Hoaggie was someone that I had never seen before but he left a mark on me. New Zealand actors are a huge blind spot for me currently and I hope to fix that.
James Ashcroft directed this and co-wrote it with Eli Kent and it was based on a short story by Owen Marshall. I hope to see more of everything that they’ve done. I do think the story might be triggering for some people with all of the atrocities that are coming to light that were done to the Native people in Canada so I do want to warn of that, but if you can make it past that you will experience a hell of a movie.