Simon, a powerful psychic, has seen his future – a serial killer will torture him to death. He has just four days to change the future…if he can. As a boy Simon had another vision – of the killer slaughtering a family friend. Simon couldn’t stop that crime, and the tragedy traumatized him, leaving him unable to really use his powers. In the present, Simon hires a troubled ex-SAS soldier as a bodyguard. But when MI5 intervene and tries to grab Simon for their own nefarious purposes, the plan goes awry. With his bodyguard out of action, the killer murders his way closer and closer to Simon. In the adrenaline-fueled climax, Simon finds himself at the point of excruciating death in the killer’s secret lair. Will he finally realize the true extent of his powers, and how to use them, to save his own life?
Definitely not Hollywood, the film starts awkwardly, taking a while to find its legs. The intro scenes aren’t great but luckily don’t represent the body of the film, which is refreshingly fun for a flick with such a dark theme. Our trio of leads includes Shane O’Meara as Simon, the psychic protagonist and most unassuming of heroes; Jim Sturgeon as Steve, the hired gun and badass with a gentle soul; and Maggie Bain and the take-no-shit intelligence agent, Sonia Chatham.
Once the first act draws to a close and all the tedious bits are out of the way, the pace picks up from a jog to a mad dash, but not so much so that we aren’t able to keep up—on the contrary, the pacing is perfect and the film pulls you in with great writing and dialogue, enjoyable characters and an intriguing plot that is very akin to the kind of James Patterson novels I loved as a teen. I’ve not read the original Peter Flannery story on which the film is based, but the movie definitely has the feel of a good read rather than that of a typical blockbuster action flick.
It is difficult to put into words what makes the film stand out so much from others of the same genre. Perhaps the Scottish setting, perhaps the atypical leads, perhaps the captivating story with its clever little intrigues. It’s not quite indie, but not quite mainstream…it’s about as wholesome as a movie about a skin-removing psycho can get; a really enjoyable film about really horrible happenings.
There is nothing outright exceptional when it comes to the cinematography or the score, with everything being pretty basic. No fancy shots or expensive camera tricks, no eerie music or jump scares or anything of that sort. In fact, all of the sound work and editing can be a little boring or generic at times, with even the shading being somewhat dull. This did not, however, distract from the film in anyway as you are—at this point—hopefully too invested in the story to notice the finer details. That, and there’s something to be said for the simplicity of the cinematography, allowing for the plot and the protagonists to be the focus of the film rather than flashy camera work and special effects. Whether or not this is a good or bad thing really comes down to personal preference.
Don’t expect car chases, shootouts, explosions, rompy shower scenes and some such content, but do look forward to smart plot devices, character growth, misdirection and twists, as well as a healthy dose of old-fashioned mystery. This genuinely feels like a film that would have been a masterpiece a few decades ago, but now would be overlooked due to a lack of Michael Bay-ness.
Was it a five-star film? No, not for me. If you enjoy a bit of mystery, a Sherlock-style plot, a touch of sci-fi, and a pinch of wholesomeness, then this may very much be just that for you. If you are looking for evil, blood, guts, and gore with psychic battles and otherworldly beings, you will be disappointed. Get through the first act and it’s a great film regardless of your preferences. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer and poster below. We were a little late getting this review out and Dark Sense is already available for purchase, stream, and download.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.