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Out of Darkness (2024) - Movie Review

Movies & TV

By Leo R.

- Feb 18, 2024

The film landscape has undergone monumental transformations since the era of 1960s kitschy classics like “Prehistoric Women” and “Creatures That Time Forgot.” Now, the lens has shifted to a more authentic portrayal of bygone eras, a feat brilliantly achieved in the recent heart-thumping Scottish film, “Out of Darkness”.

Set in an era distant from ours, 45,000 years back to be precise, the movie masterfully recreates a realistic ancient atmosphere. Through dialogues in the fictional language “Tola,” a linguistically innovative invention by an archaeologist and linguist, the film breaks away from the clichés and campy representation of the past.

"Out of Darkness" is suspenseful and raw. It offers an unfiltered, austere representation of early men and women who clothe themselves in several layers to ward off the chill of their harsh environment. Unlike other films, the characters here are not sensually suggestive but consummately focused on their battle against the elements and the horrors they face in their quest for survival.

At the outset, we are introduced to a roaming clan, centered around a campfire. We meet the clan's logical alpha male, Adem (Chuku Modu), who calmly debunks the myths spun by the clan's elderly member, Odal (Arno Lüning). But an unseen, sinister force emerges which abducts young Heron (Luna Mwezi) and poses a threat to Ave (Iola Evans), the bearer of Adem's child.

Out of Darkness (2024) - Movie Review

Pressure mounts within the clan as they are compelled to set aside personal agendas to focus on survival. We explore the dynamics among the clan members, such as the drifted woman Beyah (Safia Oakley-Green), who Adem harbors passions for, and the warrior-upstart Geirr (Kit Young). Their time fosters relationships borne out of necessity rather than family ties, shedding light on the brutality and brevity of life then. Survival itself breeds uncertainty, resulting in mistrust and brutal pragmatism.

The cast breathe convincing life into their characters, their performances reflecting a dedication that transcends what a typical script demands - physically exertive with complex character depictions lacking modern comforts for our empathy.

Immersing viewers in the starkness of the period, the haunting melodies by Adam Janota Bzowski, the powerful dark cinematography by Ben Fordesman, and the highly textured sound design by Paul Davies and his team evoke an intensely palpable ambiance, while highlighting the ruthlessness of the era.

“Out of Darkness” delves into themes of violence, war, and human survival. More melancholic than terrifying, it seamlessly transitions us back 45,000 years into a primal, harsh reality, making it undeniably an exceptional cinematic journey into the past.


6 / 10

Loosely tracing back to 45,000 years ago, "Out of Darkness" captures ancient life in an impressively credible way, portraying a desperate and primal fight for survival.