If I learned anything from Peter O'Brien's "Running Through Darkness" it was this - don't jog. The studies all show that jogging is excellent for your health, but this film brought forth the perfect reason to become a couch potato. Surgeon general be damned. Let them jog themselves into a whole world of hurt - I'm happy watching television and quite possibly... may live longer.
All jokes aside, "Running Through Darkness" was a decent enough film. As I was introduced to O'Brien's world, and our leading man Calvin, the normality of the introduction stuck with me through the entire film. Here was a young guy minding his business, just trying to keep himself healthy and active. A man not so different from myself - save maybe the fitness aspect - just going about his life doing the best he could. As luck would have it, if you want to actually call it luck, that wasn't in the cards as he literally ran into Robin. Near tripped over her bruised legs as she lay beaten within the brush of a less traveled path. Doing what most of us would do, Calvin attempts to help... thrusting him head first into the plot of this film. What starts out as a helping hand quickly becomes a story of seeming revenge and then... well reader, I don't want to spoil all the plot details for you. You're simply going to have to see it for yourself. Jump right in.
"Running Through Darkness" as I'm sure you've guessed, is an independent production. Yet the truth is this... as far as low budget movies go, this one was really quite good. There are plenty of times in this production I forgot it was micro in nature. That's not to say those hallmarks of low budget movie making never surfaced at all... just that this was done so well, it was easy to forget. Just what were those issues? A little dark and contrasted at times and of course, the inevitable oddball audio here and there. Again, this was all surprisingly less than I expected. Even less than some heavily budgeted independent films I've watched. Hats off to the production and post production crew. You've outdone yourself.
As for the story itself? Nothing earth shattering here - we've all seen this type of film before. That thriller that is not quite what it seems to be. Yet there's a reason for some of the cliche elements... they work! When it comes to movies, the familiar can just as easily keep us watching, as it can turning us off. Maybe more. Our expectations can add a personal touch if they come to be. It all comes down to how these familiar moments are presented. "Running Through Darkness" just so happens to present itself just fine.
The characters, and cast who portray them, were refreshingly played out. Again, I'm not writing that at no point did a line come across as awkward or corny... just that for the most part, this troupe handled themselves very well. Landon Beard, Lillian Bornstein and Eric Moyer all do splendid jobs within their given roles. Landon as Calvin, seamlessly lets us know he's a normal guy who changes throughout the film. How? As I wrote above, see for yourself. Lillian as Robin comes across as a broken woman with maybe a little more to hide than she lets on. As for our resident baddie Karl, Moyer seemingly has no problems with an impulsive and dangerous character. Truth be told? Never mind the fact this is an indie production, certain scenes in the movie far surpassed many A-list titles I've seen. Again, well done.
When the fat lady sings her tune, and the credits roll, there's really not much else to write. "Running Through Darkness" is a decent film. Maybe not water cooler conversation for a week straight, but definitely worth checking out - and enjoying. My personal rating is a three and a half star review - but I will say this. Peter O'Brien and his cast and crew earned every single half star I awarded. Mission completed. Mission accomplished.