Hey gang, Valkor here. I don’t always do a "top ten" or a "best of" whatever year we’re in, but I’m thinking I should with 2016 – especially with films. I’ve sat through some amazing stuff this year as well as some films that get the thumbs down. And the next film on deck, Dark Cove, definitely gets a nod for the “worst of” category even though its poster art is pretty chilling. And be wary there are major spoilers ahead. Major.
"Dark Cove" focuses on five friends – Quinn (Rob Willey), Joey (Rob Abbate), Ian (Eliot Bayne), Lacey (Jules Cotton), and Jen (Montanna McNalley), who go off on a yearly camping expedition, which is usually just the guys, but this round they're bringing the girls along. They gear up with all of the booze and drugs they can handle for a weekend getaway of fun and shenanigans. On their first day, they meet a guy named Donnie (Cameron Crosby), who invites the group to hang with his surfer buddies Chase (Ty Stokoe) and Dean (James Anderson). They agree, but not before going down on some mushrooms, having an in-depth discussion about life, and soaking up a fireworks show. After that experience, the fivesome makes their way over to Donnie and his friends, where Lacey gets a little closer to Dean. After the group has shared some beer and bud, they call it a night, with Dean slipping in next to Lacey in her tent. However, she isn’t up for any sexual shenanigans, since she’s just gotten out of a relationship. And that’s when things take a turn for the violent worst as Dean forces himself onto Lacey. Ian steps in to save the day, beating Dean to a pulp, which then causes him to have a spasm and die.
Not certain of what to do next, the gang ultimately decide to bury Dean's body next to a nearby waterfall. Afterward, they attempt to quickly pack up camp and get out of Dodge; however, their path is blocked by Donnie is looking for Dean, but not finding a trace of him anywhere. So Donnie asks the group for help in finding him. Ultimately the truth comes out, which sets Chase into a rage as he lashes out at the group, and Ian giving him an ax to the back in response. This leaves only Donnie, who Ian chases after, his mind having officially snapped. Donnie is able to stay ahead of Ian, but a park ranger that was checking license parks of the park goers... Well, he’s met with an untimely end. Or does he? The fivesome, plus Donnie, go in search of Ian but they only find the dead ranger. Ian suddenly pounces from the shadows after Donnie, but the seemingly dead ranger puts him down with a couple of bullets to the chest. And with that, the group goes their separate ways.
“Dark Cove” would have made for an awesome beginning of a new slasher character, given Ian’s violent beginnings. However, Ian is pretty much dead and I don’t see this film having a “supernatural twist” of bringing him back. So, we can pretty much call this one a wrap. And with that, on with the TOV Breakdown!
“Dark Cove” takes roughly 45 minutes for anything to happen; so if you were to take maybe the last ten minutes of that and go from there, you might have a pretty decent short film. The scene with Dean and Lacey, with Ian saving the day and pummeling Dean to death, is probably the best scene in the entire film. And that’s about it really.
My first major gripe with the film is that it takes 45 minutes for anything to actually kick in! 45 minutes! You’ll sit through plenty of dialogue, drinking, and drugs being induced, which doesn't lead to anything of importance to the story. This is like if you and your buddies were just sitting around chatting about life. Sure it's cool for your group but to a viewing audience… maybe not so much. Then there’s the scene with Chase as he confronts the group over Dean’s death. You’d think the guy was turning super Saiyan with all that screaming and flexing. And then he only gets in a couple of blows before he gets an ax to the back. I’d have liked to have seen him run through the group before that happened. Finally the music… Wow! There’s like a different song every five minutes and none of it was good. After the first 30 minutes, I was all but ready to turn this one off, not only because there was nothing going on, but the music was mad annoying!
“Dark Cove” is available now on digital video formats such as Amazon Instant, Google Play, and iTunes; but don’t let that artwork fool you, it’s really 45 minutes of nothing and not really much else afterward. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving “Dark Cove” 1.5 stars.