Thursday, March 23

Special Events ArchiveBoston Underground Film Festival 2017

A Dark Song

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Director: Liam Gavin
Screenwriter: Liam Gavin
Cast: Steve Oram, Catherine Walker, Mark Huberman, Susan Loughnane
2016 | Ireland | 100 min

A grieving mother and a misanthropic occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a dangerous ritual that will grant them access to the astral plane.

Driven by an all-consuming desire to make contact with her murdered son, Sophia Howard (Catherine Walker) hires brusque occultist Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram) to conduct a black magic ritual that will grant her wish.

Following a fractious first meeting, the two agree to embark on an elaborate, six month endurance test of faith and punishing ritual. Sealed away in a remote Welsh country house, encircled by a line of salt that is not to be crossed before the rite’s completion, the two begin a grueling daily regimen as master and apprentice of the dark arts.

Tensions flare in the face of months of seemingly fruitless spell-casting; is Sophia’s faith lacking, has she been had by an opportunistic charlatan, or are other unrevealed truths at play? In the claustrophobic space, the boundaries of reality begin to dissolve as the repetitive nature of the ritual pushes Solomon and Sophia out of step with the mortal plane and each other.

Deviating from the meticulous, ritualistic script could prove deadly, but sticking with it could be deadlier. As they delve deeper into the tedious, trying ritual, Sophia and Solomon find their bond of trust and sense of sanity pushed to the very limit as a sinister presence makes itself–but not its source–known. No matter how bad things get, they must see this through to its end.

With the emotional cache of Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and a Kubrickian tableau that delves into the darkest depths of humanity, intellect, and philosophy, Liam Gavin’s striking feature debut is a meticulous meditation on dark magic and darker souls.

– Nicole McControversy


Preceded by:



Andrea Niada | United Kingdom | 25 min
A domineering mother and her inquisitive daughter engage in unusual acts of faith in an attempt to cajole an attic-bound pater familias back from the dead.