I love being pleasantly surprised by a DTV horror flick because there’s honestly so much garbage out there it can be like navigating a minefield, but Deep In The Darkness is a fun, vicious, well made little folklore shocker that kept me entertained throughout and was legitimately scary here and there. Sean Patrick Thomas plays a big city doctor who moves with his wife and kid to set up his practice in a town so small they “don’t even have cable,” as the stressed out, cigar chomping mayor played by the wonderful Dean Stockwell informs him. He’s met mostly with acceptance and hospitality as a newcomer but it soon becomes clear this town has a very, very disturbing secret underneath it. In subterranean caverns dwell an ancient race of spectacularly ugly, murderous humanoid beings called ‘Isolates’, who pretty much call the shots throughout the county. As the only doctor in the region he now finds himself and his family drawn into a dangerous hereditary power struggle between the isolates, those who have cross-bred (fucken EW) with them over centuries and the humans caught in the middle. These things are a fascinating bunch, all played by real actors with no CGI, absolutely drenched in nauseating, terrifically creative prosthetic makeup and they come across as a less ruthless, more esoteric version of the Troglodytes we saw in Bone Tomahawk. The film is lower budget and naturally has that feel but all of the actors are very good in their roles, particularly Stockwell who gives his tired patriarch genuine guilt and a hint of long dimmed warmth. When the Isolates do show up they are an incredibly fearsome presence full of snarls, blood and fluid, lithe physicality that makes them a memorable antagonistic pack indeed. The story has some twists I didn’t see coming and one kick in the nuts of an ending, a narrative that’s not just full of cheap scares, chases and gore but one that actually feels like a proper story, of the folk horror variety infused with a creature feature aesthetic. Recommended for fans of easygoing, accessible monster horror fare, this can be found streaming on Canadian Amazon Prime!