Darkon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Darkon Reviews

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July 11, 2014
Everything you ever wanted to know about living role-play but were afraid to see.
½ January 5, 2013
Funny and fairly revealing, but I would have liked to see more about the actual mechanics of gameplay.
½ November 25, 2012
I expected this to be funnier than it actually is ...
½ June 13, 2012
Following a group of Live-Action Role Playing Gamers, this documentary does little more than follow their exploits in their fantasy world. However, what the film divulges from it's subjects (although it's hard t tell how much the film is doing, and how much comes from my knowledge of fantasy players) is the importance of fantasy not just to them, but to the human condition. It gives them an opportunity to learn the skills society requires without having to confine themselves to the often unforgiving environment people have created within America which is anything but fair. While the film spends way too much time trying to get us involved in their players' made-up story and mythology (it succeeds in doing this with only a fraction of their footage, so it became overkill), it is still able to take a humane, and fair, picture of all involved, giving them the chance to explain their escapism. And they do so well.
½ May 26, 2012
Now I know I'm not a loser. Thank you, Darkon.
May 12, 2012
Didn't change my mind on anything, only made me feel sadder. I fully respect the particpant who basically told Skip that it was just a game.
May 10, 2012
Not as engrossing as DRAKMAHR
May 2, 2012
I expected this to pull me into the world of role playing and have a new respect for the hobby. It didn't. the whole time I am thinking, "They should have named this Dorkon." The depths of the game play could have more explained. The Directors don't do much of anything to get the audience to like these guys or even to muster some respect. Basically, they just confirmed the obvious: the players act out the adults that they wish they could be in the real world. Boring.
February 7, 2012
Darkon is strangely touching and funny at the same time. Telling things of human nature and how far we might go for something to excel at, even if it's just make believe. Amid all the medieval jargon and flashy-soap opera moments of the hobby, real people are the ones ultimately behind the scenes, all bringing baggage and emotion to their favorite past time. It's something to look at and not necessarily with a scoff.
February 5, 2012
Darkon is a documentary about a large group of people who get together and LARP (Live Action Role Play) with a medieval theme. I went into this movie knowing just basic information about what this means and a somewhat critical view of the people who participate, and after having watched the movie I not only feel informed but also inspired and have a significant amount of respect and envy for the people of Darkon.

As far as documentaries go, this is probably one of the best and most engrossing ones I've ever watched. The movie follows around a few of the people in the Darkon community and shows you who they are in real life and who they are in Darkon. The documentary gets into why these people play this game (I use this phrase loosely, it isn't so much a game as it is an alternate reality) and it really becomes eye opening. The movie never really covers the way people might judge these role players (which I think is a good choice), but as a viewer we know it happens. Even mentioning the acronym LARP conjures images in your mind that are often not flattering. But what this documentary effectively shows is that these people are just having a really great time, and it is pretty amazing to get to watch them live out there fantasies collectively. There is this sense of community and a mutual understanding of the rules that isn't so different from the way we all live our normal lives, except it is much more pure in Darkon. People respect one another and even opposing forces really only oppose for the sake of the game.

It's pretty crazy watching and learning about all of the different rules that go into this and just how in depth Darkon is. Half of the fun of this movie is getting to experience all this stuff that people have invested their lives into creating. It really is mind blowing if you let yourself get sucked into it.

Just a quick disclaimer, my rating for this film is based on how it ranks as a documentary. This is not necessarily my favorite movie of all time but it is an amazing documentary that highlights a lifestyle that many of us are not too familiar with besides the way it is depicted by popular culture (Role Models is probably most peoples entry point into this, or the Avatar LARP on youtube). So if you are not interested in documentaries or the topic this one is discussing, this movie might not be as interesting to you.
January 8, 2012
hilarious and sad, great for a good laugh and a good time. though i must admit, i kinda wanted to go play in darkon for an hour or two lol
½ November 18, 2011
Darkon is not only an excellent documentary but also a fairly entertaining comedy; as the people who participate in the world of Darkon are given the opportunity to tell the general public about what being a charachter means to them. The interviews seem to all paint the same message; that Darkon offers a therapuetic release from real world difficulties, and provides a sense of community. While somewhat strange, the documentary portrays this therapuetic outlet as not much different then Fantasy Football or video games or reading fiction; at least that is what I gleaned from the film. I guess in the end, the need to escape reality will always occur on far different levels for everybody.
August 15, 2011
Essentially about people who are more introverted than average who use Role Playing as an immersive form of escapism from their depressing, sexless lives. I couldn't get into it and the battle scenes are filmed very awkwardly.
July 13, 2011
From one geek to another the people in this film take their fantasy role playing, way to seriously
June 26, 2011
No real driving narrative or focus makes it feel kind of sloppy, but still mildly amusing.
½ June 13, 2011
Similar in theme to "Monster Camp", "Darkon" documents the lives of live-action role players, both "in character" and "out of character." The two films are very dissimilar, though. "Monster Camp" focused on the difficulties of managing a game called "Nero", in which scripts had to be written, volunteers clothed and armed, and "non player characters" impersonated according to very specific computer print-outs. In Darkon, there are no scenarios, everybody is a player character, and the action emerges from the decisions of "nations" (i.e. groups of PCs) trying to expand their territories, and making and betraying alliances with other "nations". Moreover, while Nero was entirely concretised, Darkon retains an imaginary map, whose hexagons change colours according to the outcomes of real fights played out on soccer fields or in fake castles. And finally, while the costumes in Nero are very campy, those in Darkon includie real plate armor and chain mail, making the game much closer to historical reenactments.

I found "Darkon" to be a rather cruel documentary. What you see is people trying to compensate for their real-life inadequacies by impersonating imaginary heroes, and recreating in the virtual world the same kinds of relationships of domination, the same behaviours and situations as in real life. One player explains how his training for the mock battles has helped him lose weight, but he is still obese. A chainstore employee who is put upon by his customers realises he gets the same kind of treatment from the other players. A former real-life stripper dances seductively around the campfire. A stay-at-home husband who had been crushed by real-world dog-eat-dog competition gets crushed by its counterpart in the virtual world. And the real-life leaders use the same charisma and ability for speechifying to get to the top in the game world.

I felt that there was less camaraderie abd playfulness in Darkon than in Nero, and much more ruthlessness. One player comments that during battle, you can see the red in other people's eyes, and when these guys recount the joys of the battlefield, you cannot help thinking that historians could gain some insight about, say, the Vikings, just by talking to them.

The film also made me realise the tragedy of so many people deserting to fantasy worlds because they find no room for heroism or great deeds in their daily environment. This only makes the situation worse, abandoning the real world to unimaginative, buraucratic minds, and making future desertions even more likely.
½ April 21, 2011
Uninspired look at members of a medieval live action RPG,on and off-field. Interesting, but better suited for a short.
½ April 13, 2011
While LARPing may seem hilarious and childish, this film takes a look how passionate ordinary people are to a fantasy world in a very fun and interesting way.
March 21, 2011
Really hard to find words for this movie. Just know that it is good, it is on Hulu and you should watch it.
March 16, 2011
This was an interesting look into the world of LARPers. Not kids, but adults who work LARPing into their real lives as a way of escape from reality.
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