Irish horror films have been on a strong run lately, with Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal and Brian O’Malley’s Let Us Prey garnering international acclaim. Looking to continue that streak is writer/director Liam Gavin’s feature debut A Dark Song.
The film follows Sophia, a young woman who insists on renting an old house in the remote countryside so that she can hire an occultist. She needs him to perform an ancient invocation ritual, the Abramelin, to summon up Sophia’s Guardian Angel so her wish can be granted. She wishes to talk to her murdered child, a desire that consumes her.
The ritual is an extremely arduous one. They are to seal themselves in the house for months as it plays out. As they get deeper into the rite they run the risk of turning on each other, of going mad. But when Solomon finds out that Sophia has not been truthful about her wish, a greater danger threatens them. In the dark, they find that they are no longer alone in the house. They are now in the world of real angels, and real demons. The house is surrounded with a line of salt, it is the only protection they have. They must not cross it, no matter how bad it gets…
A Dark Song features Patrick’s Day star Catherine Walker in the lead, with Sightseers‘ Steve Oram as the occulist hired in to help her. Frank star Mark Huberman and Poison Pen‘s Susan Loughnane offer strong support.
Writer/director Gavin started as a story-board artist on films such as Lighthouse, Evil Aliens, and The Mutant Chronicles, before transitioning to direction with admired short films such as Jericho (Jury Prize Ozu Film Festival 2010, Vimeo Pick of the Week 2012) and Sunshower (IFTA nominee 2010).
A Dark Song was filmed in locations around Dublin and Wicklow in the summer of 2015. Viva cinematographer Cathal Watters shot the film, with Connor Dennison as production designer. Bowsie Workshop assisted on the practical effects. Post-production is taking place at Windmill Lane Pictures with editor Anna Maria O’Flanagan and Patrick’s Day composer Ray Harman.
David Collins and Cormac Fox produce for Samson Films, with Tim Dennison producing for UK production company Tall Man Films. Funding comes via the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann and Ffilm Cymru Wales.
A Dark Song is expecting to be released later this year.
Actors: Catherine Walker, Steve Oram, Mark Huberman, Susan Loughnane
Sophia employs a damaged occultist, Michael Cassus, to carry out a gruelling ritual to make manifest her Guardian Angel in order to ask a favour – to speak to her murdered child. But when Sophia’s real intentions are revealed, the two must face being terrorised by hell itself.[/infobox]