If you had lost your child, how far would you go to hear their voice again? For A Dark Song, the answer is: really far. This film is a tale of grief, horror and magic; a modern-day dark fairy tale for grownups of loss and the journey of dealing with that loss by unconventional means.
It's a grim fairy tale for adults, set in a world somewhere between our own and Pan's Labyrinth. One, where things look like we know, where lives have the ebb and flow we know and take for granted; but another where sometimes, if you do things just right…something might occur. Or perhaps you'll just go insane trying to change things to no avail.
In many ways, its an adult film. There's the violence, sexual content, and the usual things that feature in a film for adults. Sometimes its grim, vile, dirty. The characters are flawed. The story is not a gentle one. But then again: it's a fairy tale, with a lesson at the end about ourselves and our needs, the face we show the world, and our secret hearts. Sometimes it just takes a work of modern myth to get us to listen the deepest voices in our hearts.
If you've enjoyed Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, or other such Guillermo del Toro films, but want something situated in the modern world, I'd highly suggest A Dark Song — and others by its director-writer, Liam Gavin. His other works are mostly shorts, but also seem to center around themes of the darkness in human lives, tragedy, and grief, with a touch of the preternatural.