Made-for-cable from a script byu Preston Sturges, Jr., The Darkling (2000) turns out to be quite a good film, disturbing, horrific, surrealistic.
The Darkling, looking like a weird little baby with a smoker's voice, is a "fallen" cherubim, & really very creepy. It lives in a birdcage & kinda-sorta grants wishes, but at what cost to the soul of the person who has agreed to care for it.
Acting is more than competent, with a cast headed up by superb character actor F. Murray Abraham, as the sinister figure who secretly possesses the eerily demanding creature. Allowing an acquaintaince (Aidan Gillen) into the inner sanctum of a secret life, Jeff who has suffered a terrible loss is soon under the Darkling's spell.
The script is occasionally amazingly good. There are some poorly developed scenes like the side-trip to Hong Kong or the visit with a hip young voudon expert, scenes that sit there without much purpose & feel like padding to make it a full-length film. But for the most part it all works well, without recourse to any of the established shorthand of horror's easy cliches.
The obvious ending for such a story would've been "hero dies successfully killing the ancient-baby darkling -- but surprise!the darkling's okay! -- roll credits." The fact that they found a non-generic & logical & very eerie ending that is not such standard fare nicely tops off a well-done little horror flick.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl