Darkon (2006)


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Movie Info

As swords are raised and the battlefield air flows thick with tension, the participants in a full-scale role-playing game called Darkon shed their mundane identities to assume the role of warrior knight, mystical wizard, or fierce maiden. This is the story of Darkon, a game that allows hundreds of adventure-seeking adults to live out their wildest medieval fantasies. Though, to the majority of Baltimore residents, the paved parking lots and inner-city decay serve as a constant reminder of modern man's urban aspirations gone awry, a secret world exists in the forests and hills surrounding the city that allows the more imaginative a chance to take a virtual voyage back in time. This is the story of the people who refuse to allow the roles they play from nine to five define their lives, and instead choose to express their true nature through a game that allows them to become the brave hero or cunning strategist that they have always aspired to be.

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Critic Reviews for Darkon

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (9)

Joins the ranks of movies like Hoop Dreams and Murderball as one of the great documentary dissections of how Americans play.

Nov 12, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

By approaching the subject without a sense of ironic distance, Neel and Meyer get at something elemental, a variation of the American Dream at work, in which everyone can live out their life as they see it, even if that's as a medieval elf.

Oct 26, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Eloquent and occasionally touching, Darkon is haphazardly photographed but unfailingly generous toward subjects who exhibit an astonishing degree of self-awareness.

Sep 22, 2007 | Rating: 4.5/5

Neel and Meyer approach their subjects with open minds. Running around Baltimore in medieval armor isn't everyone's chalice of wine, they seem to be saying -- but who are we to judge?

Sep 14, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

There should be plenty of material here. But all we see are average men and women looking for an escape from their boring jobs and disappointing home lives.

Sep 14, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Empowered as they are, it's hard to take this motley crew seriously when they spit medieval maxims with soccer goals in the background, but the filmmakers approach their subjects with humanity.

Sep 11, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Darkon


Somewhere there is a Trekkie Dentist who feels really good about themselves.

James Alvarez
James Alvarez

Super Reviewer


An average doc about the world of LARPing. I would have liked it to cover more of the world of LARPing but it sticks to just one group and it's struggles. There are a few people covered but one more than the others. You get interested in the story but I would have liked to see more of the others. They do get a little carried away but I think the whole thing looks fun and I wouldn't mind trying it out.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

I did not know this culture existed and this film provides a very interesting glimpse into the world of outcasts shunned by other outcasts. Check out the HULU page discussions on this for a thorough exploration of the piece.

_kelly .King
_kelly .King

Super Reviewer

It's startling to actually see the amount of creativity, time, effort and preparation that these men and women put into their hobby. The way that these people totally commit to something that most adults would look down on requires an odd type of courage that many of the rest of us probably lack. Some of the participants view role-playing as an enjoyable diversion, while others draw courage and catharsis from their alter-egos. Each of these groups are handled well and fairly by the documentary makers, and I never felt like they were being exploited or mocked. Watching them practice their swordplay or listening to how they feel more comfortable in the fantasy world than in the real one never felt uncomfortable or embarrassing. It's a good thing that these people have the world of Darkon, where each of them can be who they really want to be, even if it's only for a weekend at a time. This is a great film for anyone who is curious about LARPing, or who simply would like to watch a novel and entertaining documentary.

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

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