When the angels were forbidden to interfere with man, the Archangel
Michael discovered a way to use an angel's very essence to create a half human, half angel protector for mankind. They call them the Countervail. Every generation a new Countervail is born.
Written By: Michael Rye
Directed By: Michael Rye
Episode 3 of the series "Darker Than Night" attempts to expand the world just a little more giving us some of the answers we've been hoping for. The biblical based show marches on with "Den Of Whores", but for the most part ends up being more of the same. I'm not talking about story progression, rather of the same technical pit-falls that plagued the previous episodes. We continue to witness an apathetic seeming Lucas struggling with certain truths, and all the characters in the middle stuck in this hodgepodge of bad, good and great production elements. Where "Den Of Whores" does shine is in it's concept and it's promise to deliver. So far though, as I wrote above it's pretty much on par with episode two.
It seems most of the technical difficulties have not yet been addressed that hindered previous episodes. Some more prevalent actually. The shaky camera work again rears it's ugly head but actually increases. A little more irritating are the scenes that come across as more of a wobble than a shake. Such as a scene inside a car where the camera doesn't shake, rather seems to ooze back and forth, up and down. Some of these issues could have easily been fixed. Most editing and post effects home-studios come equipped with a tracker/stabilizer. It wouldn't take much to correct or reduce some of the shake and ooze in these shots. We also have numerous instances of bad framing. Characters are situated in strange places on the screen, or dead center. Seems like such a small thing but it's a huge distraction as a viewer. Use your favorite program, scale the image up a bit and frame the shots correctly! It's so easy! Worried you'll loose quality when scaling the image? Don't. For the small screen we, the viewers won't notice anything. Not to mention you're not using a Red Cam to start with. The camera work is a huge part of the show! The more time you spend with it the better. Aside from that, "Den Of Whores" faces some serious issues when attempting to take it seriously. Some of the cast portrayals are really good, and some even better than previous episodes. Some however are completely horrendous. Almost like director Michael Rye demanded the worst performance possible for a scene. As I said, for every one improved performance, seems we get one that is laughable. On the bright side, the main cast seem to be picking up the slack, and are the good in the show. It's a shame that the rest are just not up to par. When making a show like this, the supporting characters are just as important. Don't just get all your friends involved, make sure they can at least "sort of" act. Makes all the difference. Cut the scenes that come across as hollow and scripted. Get a few people together and with a notepad, really pick the show apart before making it public. I can almost guarantee that 5-7 minutes could have been cut, leaving the story intact and the cheese at the door.
"Darker Than Night: Den Of Whores" is still good to sit down and watch, especially if you're into supernatural thrillers. There is just not enough improvement to push the series forward technically. What could be an impressive indie series seems to be stuck right around the middle ground. With episode four looming on the horizon, I personally would suggest the shows team go back and take a good hard look at what can be taken out and fixed. Come back with a bang! The beauty of shows is this: If you can hook em with an episode or two, they'll go back and watch the rest with a much more forgiving eye.
That about wraps things up. I'm really looking forward to being blown away by the next episode but until then... keep the faith!
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