Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dagon - 4/5

Stuart Gordon may not be the world's most diverse director nor the world's busiest, but I'll be damned if the output he has going on isn't some of my favorite stuff. That's why "Dagon" happens to be on my list of 'massively underrated awesome Horror films'. Although it's budget constraints do hinder it at times, "Dagon" slaps on some serious atmosphere to garner some great Horror moments and balances it with enough dark humor to give it that Gordon style. If you are a fan of low budget success or just a fan of Gordon, than this is definitely worth the gander.

Paul (Godden) and Barbara (Merono) finally have gotten away from the business world upon a friend's ship for a nice vacation off the coast of Spain. When a freak storm crashes their boat on some rocks, Paul and Barbara rush to a nearby village called Imboca to retrieve some help. What they find in this cursed village is worse than the storm raining down on them. The people of the village seem to be transforming into creatures of the sea and its source seems to be a mythical creature of the sea that they have come to worship named Dagon. When Paul and Barbara become separated, its up to Paul to seek out his other half to save her and get out of this God forsaken village.

The surprising quality of this low budget (often shown on SyFy) flick, is perhaps its strongest quality. With some solid acting from the surprisingly empathetic Godden, whose oddly humorous but frantic style is reminiscent of previous Gordon regular Jeffrey Combs, and the well crafted atmosphere that utilizes its nightmarish settings to full effect, "Dagon" uses its strengths in all the proper ways. The dark humor is still undertones to the horrific tension it focuses on but it brings forth the Gordon factor that many have come to love (like myself).

These strengths mostly overcome its faults in the end and make for a more than enjoyable 'monster flick'. Although its occasionally poor CGI use does make for some cringing times, including the one glimpse we get to see of the mighty Dagon as it leaps from a water pool towards the finale, the regular special effects also make up for it. If there was one major complaint for this film it would have to be its ending. Although it stays fairly true to its source material (including a line pulled directly from the H.P. Lovecraft tale), the film never really properly explains the final character arc for it to work as it should have and makes for a somewhat disappointing ending.

Despite a few flaws here and there, "Dagon" still rocks the boat nicely (pun intended) and it comes off as a highly underrated little horror film that not many people have seen. Gordon updates the material wonderfully and it makes for an enjoyable watch. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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