Left in Darkness (2006)
Directed by Steven R. Monroe
Writing credits Philip Daay Jane Whitney
Monica Keena .... Celia
David Anders .... Donovan
Tim Thomerson .... Joe
Chris Engen .... Doug
Tarah Paige .... Rachel
I was sent this DVD. You ever see the movie “Turbulence”? You know, the one with Lauren Holly and Ray Liotta? It’s about a mad killer, (Liotta), who escapes from his captors on a plane. Somehow he manages to kill or incapacitate everybody else on the plane, except for the stewardess played by Lauren Holly. Well, Holly is clearly no match for Liotta so she locks herself in the cockpit. But because the movie would be pretty dull if she stayed there, the filmmakers dream up some stupid reasons for her to leave the cockpit and get into trouble with Liotta. She leaves her hiding places many times during the movie so she can have more fights with Liotta. No sane person would do this but the filmmakers need her to act like a moron in order for the movie to work.
Well, “Turbulence” was the movie that came to my mind while I was watching “Left in Darkness”. It stars that cute girl from “Entourage” who was Eric’s psych major girlfriend, (Monica Keena). She goes to a frat party with her equally hot friend. While there, they meet some lunkheaded frat boys who want to slip them some date rape drugs. Monica OD’s and dies in the frat house basement. But she’s not quite dead yet. She has been “Left in Darkness”. She’s in some sort of purgatory between Heaven and Hell. Her purgatory looks just like the frat house she was in except no one can see her. So she becomes a ghostly presence in the real world while in her purgatory she is chased by soul eating demons who want to snatch her if she strays from the light.
What light you ask? Here’s where the “Turbulence” connection comes in. You see, you can only stay in purgatory for so long. The “light” is what keeps all the monsters away so you can get your soul to heaven. The “light” is a fluorescent light inside the frat house which will keep you safe. It slowly goes out room by room as your time ticks away. Now, as you can see, the filmmakers of “Left in Darkness” are stuck facing the same dilemma as the “Turbulence” filmmakers. If they let this girl act intelligently, she’ll stay in the light and keep things safe until she can find her stairway to heaven.
Of course they don’t do that as that would lead to an uneventful movie. So Monica takes great effort to get herself thrown into the pit of Hell with every chance she gets. She runs out of the light like an idiot many times. Her guardian angel comes down to help her but Monica couldn’t care less. Her dead grandfather shows up to try to tempt Monica out of the light. Her guardian angel warns her that he is not as he seems. Do you think Monica will listen? Of course not! Let granddad demon in!
“Left in Darkness” only works if you let Monica act like a fool so she can imperil her soul at every turn. I started to get annoyed watching her act like a suicidal imbecile. On the plus side, “Left in Darkness” does have some interesting thoughts on the afterlife. Like purgatory looks like a frat house. Come on, that’s kind of interesting. And if I had to spend an hour and a half watching a girl run around with the dead, having Monica Keena to look at is a pretty good way to spend it. Overall, “Left in Darkness” is a fair movie if you can accept the plot device that Monica must have the self-preservation instincts of a lemming for it to work.
SCORE: 2 out of 4 Monicas stuck in darkness