The Dark (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dark (1979)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This well-acted but wildly disjointed sci-fi/horror film stars William Devane as a writer who takes a personal interest in a series of baffling decapitation murders in the L.A. area, all of which seem to indicate some kind of supernatural force at work. He is joined in his investigation by a TV reporter (Cathy Lee Crosby), while detective Dave Mooney (Richard Jaeckel puzzles over evidence that the killer may not even be human. Their subsequent monster hunt is both stylish and suspenseful but completely collapses at the end, trashing any attempt at explanation by revealing the murderer as a lumpy-browed alien brute with ill-fitting slacks and laser-beam eyes. After a tension-filled 80-minute set-up, the moronic climax brings the suspense to a jarring halt and was probably added late in the game by a lame-brained studio executive who decided in mid-production to change the killer into an alien. Directorial duties were originally assigned to Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), who bailed out early to be replaced by John "Bud" Cardos. Enough said.


William Devane
as Roy Warner / Steve Dupree
Richard Jaeckel
as Det. Dave Mooney
Keenan Wynn
as Sherman 'Sherm' Moss
Warren Kemmerling
as Capt. Speer
Biff Elliot
as Detective Jack Bresler
Casey Kasem
as Pathologist
Vivian Blaine
as Courtney
Russ Marin
as Dr. Baranowski
Mel Anderson
as Policeman
John Dresden
as Policeman
Horton Willis
as Policeman
Paula Crist
as Stewardess
Joann Kirk
as Stewardess
Erik Howell
as Antwine
William Lampley
as Young Man
Ken Minyard
as TV Sportscaster
Monica Peterson
as Mrs. Lydell
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Critic Reviews for The Dark

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

Garners one of the dumbest monsters ever brought to the big screen...

Full Review… | June 16, 2008
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for The Dark

The actors sell this unexplainably-angry-alien-amongst-us spectacle, but only just. You'll watch to see who in the cast you recognize and to watch them go through their paces as this is all too predictable, but after that there is little here to recommend

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


The synopsis says that this movie is well acted, but I disagree, the actors were boring. In fact the whole movie wasn't exciting enough to hold my attention. The monster was even boring. There are murders, there's a monster, there's cops trying to stop the monster, and that's it. This is a poor excuse for a monster film. It doesn't make anyone afraid of the dark.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Originally helmed by Tobe (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) Hopper, who was fired during filming, The Dark is a bizarre mash-up of slasher and alien invasion tropes that never quite coheres into something enjoyable. Part police procedural, part serial killer, part alien invasion, the film never quite settles on what it wants to be. Hence, the film is a crappy--if at times entertaining in a cheesy sort of way--sci-fi/horror thriller that never develops itself in original or insightful ways but certainly features plenty of laughs along the way.

Al Miller
Al Miller

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