Actors: Missy Keating, Marcella Plunkett
Director: Marina de Van
Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
Number of discs: 1
Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
DVD Release Date: January 28, 2014
Run Time: 91 minutes
Although I commend the way in which Dark Touch fearlessly addresses real-life trauma within the context of a horror film, the subject matter is often too tragic to mix with elements of fantasy. As a result, the elements of spectacle are weighed down and all real-world tragedy that inspired the storyline seems trivialized by the supernatural aspects. As clever as Dark Touch may be on an intellectual level, it inevitably feels emotional manipulative with such a social abhorrent subplot.
Dark Touch follows a clearly traumatized 11-year-old girl named Neve. After an inexplicable tragedy occurs in her home, both of her parents are brutally murdered and her infant brother is accidentally smothered as Neve attempts to escape the paranormal attacks. As authorities attempt to discover the details behind the attacks, Neve is moved in with family friends. Only a kind-hearted social worker begins to see the signs of an abused child in Neve, and when further paranormal occurrences continue it becomes clearer that this abuse was the catalyst for her parent’s death.
The one kindness from writer/director Marina De Van is the subtlety with which the abuse towards Neve is shown, though this does not help from weighing down the genre film with incredibly unpleasant social issues. Though it certainly has impact, I might have preferred that the storyline refrained from including sexual abuse against the 11-year-old out of the narrative. It seems to me that the physical abuse would have been effective enough, and having the parents be joined in the act of the atrocious abuse is more than a little difficult to understand or believe. Though the issues have real social relevance, they feel manipulative in such a contrived scenario. Where Dark Touch is most effective is in the brutality of the paranormal attacks, making this something of a child-abuse revenge film. In other words, this plays like a prepubescent take on Carrie.
The DVD includes a theatrical trailer.
Entertainment Value: 5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10
Historical Significance: 4/10
Disc Features: 1/10