Jake Tapley

Usually, the movies I review are big ticket movies that are playing at theaters around the country and grossing a decent amount in the Box Office. This is, of course, because I am writing primarily for the students and faculty of USI, and independent movies are typically not screened often in the Tri-State region, or if they are, they aren’t usually publicized much.

However, in the spirit of Halloween, Showplace Cinemas East put on a limited screening of the independent horror movie, “Daylight,” which was filmed at various locations in Vanderburgh County.

The movie takes place in the fictionalized town of Daylight, which is a fairly accurate representation of a small Midwestern community, drawing a haunting comparison to the likes of our own Daylight, Indiana – located off of Highway 57 in the northeast corner of Vanderburgh County.

Using a first-person point-of-view, the film instantly uses familiar aesthetics that bring to mind the likes of “The Blair Witch Project” or more recent and thematically-related works, such as “The Last Exorcism” or the “Paranormal Activity” series. Also, dispersed throughout the movie were intervals of distorted film sequences that I felt paid homage to art-house style movies.

Continuing in the trend of demonic possession movies, “Daylight” embarks into both religious and sacrilegious territory by means of the on-screen investigation of a Catholic priest in the town. The film is centered largely on a girl of high school age and even more so on a girl of elementary school age, both of which had dramatic behavioral shifts (believed to be the result of demonic possession) and had been in contact with said priest.

I was fairly impressed with the acting, given that many of the actors were residents of Evansville who had limited experience with acting and even less experience with acting for the screen.

I found the visual style of the film to be intriguing in that it gave the film a distinct style, which set it apart from many of its more well-known predecessors. However, as the film started to feel more like it was directed by David Lynch towards the end – I don’t know, something involving alternate realities or parallel dimensions, I think – this visual element became overpowering and made it difficult to piece together much of the action and plot of the last 20 or so minutes of “Daylight.”

I will say that I certainly enjoyed it, but I could have enjoyed it more.