From Black is the latest original title to hit the horror streaming service, Shudder. Starring Anna Camp and John Ales, the latest platform addition is directed by I Did Not Forget You producer, Thomas Marchese.
From Black – Storyline
Cora (Anna Camp, Murder at Yellowstone City and Graceland) is a recovering heroin addict living with the eternal torment of the loss of her son, Noah (Eduardo Campirano), after he was kidnapped and killed on his way to school due to her narcotic-induced neglect.
After the burden of sorrow starts to weigh heavily on her shoulders, Cora starts attending grief counseling sessions in a desperate bid to shake some of her guilt and find a way to live with the pain brought on by the loss of her child.
It’s here that she crosses paths with the group’s leader, Abel (John Ales, Murder at Yellowstone City and Who Are You People), who eventually reveals to her that there’s a way she can bring her late son back from the dead. A ritual that he too underwent to bring back his daughter.
At first skeptical, but willing to try anything, she agrees to Abel’s plans and subjects herself to the ancient and dark sacrament. However, to bring back her Noah, a sinister entity demands his price.
From Black and the Dark Arts
Horror is a wide umbrella, covering an abundance of different genres. There’s something about black magic that really draws on fear and does so often in the most creative of ways. The subject is always an interesting rabbit hole to plunge head-first into and it’s often rewarded with unnerving consequences.
It’s this taboo that gives the topic a dark mystery and From Black plays on this to its full potential. The authenticity of the rite seemed wholly believable, while the chalked symbols and scriptures added nicely to the dark and foreboding atmosphere that threads and weaves itself through the whole movie.
From Black Cast
Despite both Anna Camp and John Ales each having several acting credits to their names, we hadn’t yet heard of them before their appearances in From Black. With that being said, both of the main cast members showed broad ranges as they nailed the portrayal of an eclectic list of emotions, bringing substance to the movie and contributing to the believability of From Black.
There were a few scenes, however, where it was difficult to tell if Camp was laughing historically or sobbing in abject fear of the sinister forces at play. There’s even one scene where she’s covering her mouth with her hand; we can’t help but think that this was a request from the powers that be that had spotted the same as we did.
This isn’t to say Camp doesn’t give a blinding performance, because she does. It’s just something to look out for.
From Black – Summary
With its dark, mysterious undertones and theme of black magic, ritualism, and sinister beings, From Black is a feast for fans of the darker brands of horror cinema. The storyline, while sounding basic on paper, is wrought with emotion and carries through until the end of the movie.
Without giving too much away, however, the very end of the movie (as in the last 10 seconds) left us overwhelmed with frustration. Whether or not this was intentional is unclear, but we can say with honesty that it ruined the preceding 139 minutes for us.
From Black is a Shudder original title and can be streamed now through the horror-dedicated streaming platform. Just turn it off before the last minute to save yourself from the needless annoyance it will otherwise leave you with.