Every year, there’s one film at Frightfest that is best described with three letters – W T F. This year’s headscratching entry was to be Dark Touch, which tries to say something serious about the impact and repercussions of child abuse but has a habit of jumping so far into left field the viewer is left wondering if their drink has been spiked.
Daughter-of-Boyzone Missy Keating is Niamh, sole survivor of the horrific night that took the lives of her parents and brother. Taken in by Nat and Lucas (Marcella Plunkett and Padraic Delaney), they aren’t sure how to best deal with her increasingly clear troubles. Were her claims that the house came to life true, and is something else haunting her?
Performances vary immensely with Missy’s being one of the highlights; others particularly for smaller roles are at times so bad they become funny, which is furthered by occasionally truly groan-inducing dialogue. The biggest issue is that the film doesn’t seem to know what it’s trying to be at several key points – is it a serious commentary, a revenge opus or a full-on supernatural thriller?
Dark Touch does at least look the part, particularly during set piece scenes and when the scale gets ramped up. It may step into surrealism and silliness – particularly during the most bizarre doll picnic I am ever likely to see – but somehow in spite of everything it’s hard to really dislike the film. Just don’t go in expecting consistency or sense! **1/2