Against The Dark (2009)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Genres: Action, Action Thriller, Horror, Vampire Film, Zombie Film
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Richard Crudo Richard Crudo
Steven Seagal Steven Seagal
Tanoai Reed Tanoai Reed
Jenna Harrison Jenna Harrison
Danny Midwinter Danny Midwinter
Emma Catherwood Emma Catherwood

3.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: January 23, 2009
Not long after God creates the heavens and the earth, he created Seagal.

No one does nothing on screen quite like Steven Seagal. He's a thinking man's action star because you can always tell that there's something going on in that head of his that is leading him to punch whomever he is punching and kick whomever he is kicking. Seagal is god -- plain and simple. Unfortunately, God's career, of late, has not been something to write home about. The last time he had a film in theatres was 2002 with "Half Past Dead", but he has since given up his lifelong dreams of acting alongside rappers. "Against the Dark" is his latest film, about to hit the DVD racks, and it's very much a departure for him -- a horror film?

Seagal, in all his Zen-like glory, stars as Commander Tao, the leader of a group of 'hunters'. You see, it's very much the future and a virus has turned human beings into zombies (original, right). Only these zombies are the least of the worries since there are also vampires. Or are they the same? I couldn't really figure that out, but there's some of each and Seagal is designed to kill them all -- with his sword. Seagal and his group of hunters run into a band of survivors in an old hospital and for some reason it takes 90 minutes to find their way out. Evidently the doors have been locked and boarded up, but it still seems to take an hour to get from the second floor to the first floor. The survivors are your usual lot. Elsewhere, the 'by the book' military man, Lieutenant Waters (Keith David) is ready to drop 'the bomb' on the town and kill everyone, hunters and survivors included.

There is nothing special about this film whatsoever. The first half of the film -- it seems like Seagal's stuff and the stuff with the survivors was shot continents apart from one another. The filmmakers go out of their ways to make the material match-up, many times just showing us Seagal's feet and lower part of his body to make us think it's him in a location where he obviously is not. There are far too many scenes of actors walking down hallways and talking about the plague. We know all about the plague -- we saw "28 Days Later" -- it's the same kind except some of these nutjobs file down their teeth and drink blood. Seagal doesn't have much dialog in the film, but my favorite scene comes when he bursts into a room where a maniacal doctor is about to perform some sort of crazy vampire sacrifice. The doctor says to Seagal -- "Who are you?" And Seagal retorts -- "I'm the motherfucka gonna do to you what you been doin' to everybody else!" Then he blasts him with his double barrel.

Don't get me wrong -- watching Seagal take down some bloodsuckers was nice. I just wish he would have had a better vehicle in which to do that. Seagal has always been an underestimated action star and I think he is very much set to make a comeback, and maybe he can do that in the horror genre, but he needs some original material that doesn't involve plagues and zombies -- been done a million times before. It felt like the filmmakers just used Seagal as a tool in which to sell the story they really wanted to tell -- a bunch of survivors walking around and talking about nothing relevant whatsoever. Seagal happily cashed the paycheck. I would say pick this one up just to see Seagal in a horror film and to watch him slash and dash some zombie creeps. But be forewarned that you are probably going to finish the film with a grimace on your face. Seagal deserves better. 5/10.
Anthony Spadaccini #1: Anthony Spadaccini - added 01/26/2009, 02:33 PM
Far cry from his Under Siege days...
Chad #2: Chad - added 04/07/2009, 05:55 PM
This review summed it up nicely. It wasn't a horrible movie and I have to admit that I enjoyed the "zompires", but it wasn't something I'd recommend either. That 5/10 sounds about right.
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