Kids are playing baseball. Suddenly a ball smashes through a pane of glass and lands on the floor of a patently spooky room. One of the kids is sent down into the room to get it, and in a childish moment, the rest of the kids shut and lock the door behind him.
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What happens next is not to be believed. A shadow sweeps the room, moving with a fluid grace from one end of the room to the other. The hapless boy in the room starts screaming. He's seen something, and it's got him in an utter panic.
Until he suddenly stops screaming....
We jump cut to a more modern institution--one latchkey kid enters his house, which he finds empty. Ah, but he's not such a latchkey kid after all...his mother's in the basement. Welding.
After some witty back-and-forth banter with mom, our boy goes back upstairs, but not before having some kind of sepia-toned psychic vision of himself blinking in and out of existance at the top of the stairs.
We discover that our boy has a fear of the dark and all the tact of a water buffalo. Stemming from, apparently, his time chasing baseballs in the dark. And strangely, a pair of horrific cuts have appeared, suddenly, on his shoulder. Where they came from is anyone's guess at this point, but it's likely connected to the shadowy thing that's been doggedly pursuing this kid since time out of mind.
Something's playing games with our little buddy whilst he sits in the house, alone with his brother. He's trying to watch cartoons when the TV suddenly changes channels to Evil Dead 2.
For the next several minutes, things get surprisingly frightening. Strange sounds emerge from out of nowhere, the lights flicker in the force of a thunderstorm, and the music lends a note of added suspense to the proceedings.
And then things get worse. The lights suddenly go out. Our boy, whose name turns out to be Ryan, goes into a panic, screaming about how the dark is alive, and things are in it that are out to get him. His theory seems fairly well structured--a man in a black felt hat and trenchcoat similar to the ones in Ryan's closet suddenly appears and disappears in the hallway.
Ryan's older brother goes up to the attic to get a set of battery powered floodlights of suprising intensity and finds himself suddenly locked in the attic with a strange moving shadow.
Things get even more harrowing later as one of the statues in the living room, a spear-toting-warrior, slashes Ryan's hand. Ryan then recounts the story of the day he got locked in the basement.
Folks, this is scary stuff, no mistake. Here's a four year old kid chasing after his remote-controlled toy tank in the basement and something GRABS HIM BY THE FOOT AND DRAGS HIM INTO A SHADOW. No wonder this kid's scared of the dark!
Suddenly a barricade appears in the living room. Made from the living room furniture. A flash of lightning later and everything goes back to normal. The kids are beginning to question their own sanity as a shadowy form walks across the shot. They wander into their parents' room and see three claw marks across one of the walls.
And then, something's knocking on the door.
Ryan's brother goes to answer it...and nothing's there.
Suddenly, shadows engulf the room! Strange, monstrous humanoid figures rush Ryan! One of them manages to grab a hold of him! And the lights come back on...but only for a moment. Ryan describes these monsters, the so-called "night things", and one of them walks into the camera shot. Footsteps echo in the background.
Ryan's brother is having a hard time processing all of this, and decides to make a desperate lunge, bat-first, into an open room.
His girlfriend, who we saw visiting only a while ago, is standing there, only a heartbeat away from taking a bat to the face.
Which is weird...weren't all the doors in that house locked? Or at least they were when Ryan's brother went outside to see who or what was making that pounding noise.
Ryan's brother's girlfriend then shares some notes on the nature of fear...much in the way of "Freddy Vs. Jason." Fear is power for the monster of choice.
But it doesn't seem to be working too well--Ryan gets attacked again by our same corpse-pale friend once again, and Ryan's brother goes downstairs to activate the house's internal generator, a measure he was only supposed to undertake in major emergencies. He goes downstairs to find the generator in ruins and the walking corpse of an elderly woman waiting for him.
Ryan gets clever, trapping one of the monstrousities in a net made of rope lights.
The "nothing in the dark that's not there in the light" finally works for Ryan, and he manages to get to the generator himself, ending the terror.
The ending is a little anticlimactic...after all the buildup, the monsters suddenly vanishing in the light isn't exactly the choicest of denouement...but there's a twist that should give you a fright.
The review of this Movie prepared by Steve Andersen, The Video Store Guy