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Film / The Dark (2018)

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The Dark is a 2018 horror film directed by Justin P. Lange, starring Nadia Alexander and Toby Nichols.

The Dark provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Alex's mom is worried about him and believes his kidnapper is taunting her. Mina's mom worried too until Mina returned to kill and eat her
  • An Axe to Grind: Mina's preferred weapon, although her claws & teeth can do the job as well.
  • Axe Before Entering: Through a wall rather than a door.
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  • Back from the Dead: Mina appeared to still be alive when she was buried, but she claws her way out in an undead state.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: An axe through the wall after Josef sees Mina's eye. Whether or not his bullets penetrate the same wall in reply, she's much less bothered than him.
  • Beauty = Goodness: Mina's appearance changes as she comes to care for Alex.
  • Blind and the Beast: Alex is the former, Mina is the latter.
  • Booby Trap: There are spikes to puncture car tires near Mina's house. She deliberately locks one door while leaving another unlocked, so her prey will use that one and step on a block of wood with nails sticking out.
  • Bounty Hunter: The civilians in the woods are trying to obtain the reward money, with one dismissing stories of the woods dangers as just the authorities trying to keep the money for themselves.
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  • Broken Bird: Mina's not merely broken, but a corpse powered by rage.
  • Buried Alive: Mina was very severely hurt, but still apparently alive when buried.
  • ...But He Sounds Handsome: Mina tells Alex that the woods they're in are cursed by a creature with sharpened claws & teeth that eats people alive. Alex, unable to see her inhuman appearance, insists he's not scared and is surprised Mina refers to the creature as a "she".
  • Came Back Strong: Mina was unable to defend herself when alive. She comes back a fearless killing machine.
  • Character Development: Most of the film is about Mina changing, although Alex also changes enough to take some initiative.
  • Death from Above: An axe swinging down from a tree branch, in this case.
  • Defrosting the Ice Queen: She's angry rather than just cold, but this is much of Mina's arc.
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  • Facial Horror: Alex appears to have scar tissue where his eyes should be, and Mina's face would be scary to anyone (unlike Alex) who could see her.
  • Horror Hunger: Mina comes back full of rage, and hungry for human flesh.
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: When Mina attempts to eat anything other than people she's killed, she gags. This changes by the end of the film.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Humans are the only thing undead Mina eats, with plenty of slurping sounds & belching.
  • In the Back: Mina does this with an axe to a man using his phone after finding Alex. Later, Alex does this to a woman pointing a shotgun at Mina.
  • Just Keep Driving: Of the hit & run variety, driven by someone we never see. See Look Both Ways below.
  • Karma Houdini: We see Mina kill her mom right after rising from the grave, but never see what happened to the mom's boyfriend that raped & murdered Mina.
  • Look Both Ways: George, when he's running away from Mina.
  • Made of Iron: Appears to be a side effect of being undead. Mina attacks people without fear of their weapons, and tests a lighter's flame on her hand without feeling anything. She learns that she's changing when the flame hurts.
  • Man Bites Man: Mina does this as an ordinary teen against her rapist. He beats & kills her in retaliation.
  • Missing Dad: We don't know why the man who is presumably her father is present in Mina's photo (and a picture she draws) but absent from the house. At first it seems like loyalty to her dad might be why Mina wants her mom's boyfriend gone, but it becomes apparent her objection is on her own behalf.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Mina resembles a corpse and eats people, but she's fully sentient and able to pass as normal when interacting with Alex (due to his blindness). She is implied to be animated by her anger at what happened to her. She transforms back into a human gradually over the course of the film.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Josef murders someone just for hearing a news report about his wanted status. Mina doesn't know any of this when she kills him, but what she finds out afterward from Alex makes her identify with him.
  • Price on Their Head: Josef is fleeing for this reason, and people are pursuing him (intending to rescue Alex) in hopes of obtaining it.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Mina isn't just angry at the man who did this to her, but also at her mom for bringing him back after promising not to. The bond between her & Alex is based on both being horribly abused by adults.
  • Rape as Backstory: We get flashbacks showing how Mina got to be this way.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Josef has so thoroughly conditioned Alex that Alex appears to exhibit this. It's arguable that his tendency toward this just gets transferred to Mina over the course of the film.
  • The Woobie: Alex has been not only physically blinded, he's psychologically incapable of breaking Josef's "rules" or accepting that Josef isn't around any more for most of the film. He says his blinding happened before he knew the "rules", and he's spent a long time since then avoiding punishment by sticking to them.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Mina physically transforms when her behavior changes.
  • Trapped in Villainy: Mina is unable to eat ordinary food and instead feeds on people, causing the woods near her to be considered cursed. By the end of the film as her rage has been replaced with compassion, she is able to eat cereal and pass as human.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: You'd be angry too if you were Mina.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: A woman threatening Mina with a shotgun just thinks she's a teen in zombie makeup who's broken into her house.

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