Film review: Cold and Dark (2005), directed by Andrew Goth
Some years ago, I used to listen to James Whale a lot (the British broadcaster, not the old horror film guy), and when he was in a couple of films I had to eventually track these films down.
Cue some years later when I decided to finally get around to watching them, I made a stunning discovery: both movies starred Luke Goss. What a stroke of luck! I had only just seen Hellboy 2: The Golden Army and gone “OMG, who is THAT?!” over Prince Nuada – played by (you guessed it) Luke Goss. I had also come to the conclusion that Luke Goss in a long-haired blonde wig looked like one of my roleplaying characters, which is always a welcome bonus.
Anyway, I digress.
This British horror flick is about a police officer, John Dark (Luke Goss), whose suave partner Mortimer Shade (Kevin Howarth) dies. Except he doesn’t. He comes back to life, inhabited by some sort of blood-thirsty parasite, who needs its new host to suck people’s blood to stay alive. The two coppers turn vigilante trying to hunt down the bad guys, but the monster within grows stronger and stronger.
Meanwhile, a woman called Albany (Carly Turnbull, wooden) have it off with Dark and I honestly can’t remember if she’s meant to be the baddie’s lawyer or a fellow police officer; James Whale makes a cameo with absolutely no speaking lines whatsoever as Ernie “Einstein” Stein a.k.a. the big baddie just mentioned; and you’d be hard pressed to remember the film the next day.
A big plus point is Matt Lucas as Dr Elgin, from “the CUUC, Civilian Unit … something something”, who is the one person who actually knows what the parasite is. He’s got some funny lines and is a bit dotty. “I once had a sample of a grail from a Kurdistani goat farmer, but now it’s gone forever … courtesy of British Airways.”
Shade is so stereotypically brooding bad boy in a leather coat that he could be Guy of Gisborne’s brother. Dark is equally brooding, but in a hard-ass “lookit my cheekbones, I’m well ‘ard” way. It’s not a brilliant movie by any stretch of the imagination. The script is uninspired, there’s a bit of gore but it’s never scary, the fact that the baddie never speaks is rather weird, and it’s difficult to read the titles in the beginning.
Speaking of which, the beginning is very effective. It’s a voiceover where Dark says, “It takes 40 minutes to bury a body. Longer, if it’s still alive. Tougher … when it’s your best friend.” Of course, being the good guy, Dark eventually realises he has to take his partner down, one way or the other.
And also, because there are actually worse films out there, I’m giving this one a 2 out of 5. (I can’t rightly give it a 1 considering I’m actually re-watching it voluntarily.)