Dark Haul (2014) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Daniel Wise
Starring: Tom Sizemore, Rick Ravanello, Evalena Marie
Rated: UR/Region A/1:78/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scream Factory
The meaning of a cryptic prophecy divides a team of secretive guardians as they attempt to transport a deadly creature and its half-human sister in an 18-wheeler truck to a more secure location. But a hidden agenda undermines their mission, releasing the beast, and they end up battling for the fate of the world when the true meaning of the prophecy is discovered. Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Heat) and Evalena Marie (Remains) star in this mysterious and thrilling creature feature that delivers pulse-pounding action and eye-popping effects at every turn!
I get giddy when I get a Scream Factory release. Just the sight of the logo alone makes me feel almost childlike and I recall the times back in the day when something would make me as happy to see. I use to get that feeling at the video store and I use to also get that feeling as a teen with Anchor Bay releases. Then there is movies from SyFy. That sight before a film gives me a very different feeling. I get a cold chill of dread down my spine, because usually when it comes to SyFy films, they are selling me a bag of goods I do not want. Needless to say, when it came to Dark Haul, a SyFy movie being released by Scream Factory, I was torn. Still, I watched Dark Haul and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t terrible. It didn’t come with that nostalgic glee most Scream Factory titles come with, well, all of the ones that are old school films, but it did bring some new and interesting stuff to the table in spots. There is a nice female lead, there is a nice creature, and the plot is different. Not sure if I’d say every little thing about it works as well as they’d hope, but it at least makes you think that someone actually tried not to purposely be as corny and awful as possible, which tends to be the SyFy tradition ya know? This one has a purpose, which automatically places it above most the stuff you see from that channel. It especially can grab your attention at times as you try to figure out just what the heck is going on in this film from time to time.
So, we have this girl, who just so happens to be kinda hot (played by Evalena Marie). Her brother is a creature (Some call the Jersey Devil in the film) and that creature has evil plans, so the people trying to stop this creature are using her to try to stop her brother. Lots of conflicts all around, some character moments, and Tom Sizemore being a very convincing jerk in the thick of things. He’s actually probably more of our bad guy than our flying Devil-ish looking friend. The plot is a little all over the place at times, but still interesting enough. There is some gore and some CGI, so I guess I won’t complain, seeing as how we seem to get equal time for both. Also, some things here we would probably want CGI for. I think a practical flying monster would be very 80s and cool, but this is a different time, so I get it. To it’s own credit, it doesn’t look that bad especially when it is hiding in the shadows. You get twists, you get turns, and you get some violence. I guess you can’t be that let-down when you do indeed at least get all of that. Probably the best SyFy horror film I’ve seen in years, but that might be the same as being the smartest kid in the slow class. Regardless, it does have some cool moments.
Quality of the Transfer: 95%