A DARK SONG (2017) is another indie horror gem that shows what filmmakers can do with a limited budget when they tell a good story. It’s powerful, bleak, and original in its execution.
Sophia (Catherine Walker), a middle-aged woman grieving the loss of her seven-year-old son, who was murdered, rents a house in Wales and hires occultist Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram) to perform a complicated ritual used to summon one’s guardian angel. Once the angel appears, you can ask a favor, which can be almost anything, special powers, knowledge, whatever you need. Sophia wants to speak to her dead son again, though she may have darker motives. Solomon typically seeks knowledge but is looking for another special power.
The film’s ritual appears to be based on the BOOK OF ABRAMELIN, a Kabbalistic grimoire, which became important to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and later in the Thelema mystical system created in 1904 by occultist Aleister Crowley. I found Sophia’s and Solomon’s machinations fascinating as day after day, they undergo the ritual toward its conclusion. Otherwise, the characters themselves are interesting, the conflict inherent in their personalities, the occasional moments they connect as people. Sophia is highly driven and impatient with getting results. Solomon is slovenly, prone to baser urges, but highly meticulous about the ritual and its boundaries.
Put it all together, and the result is a gripping story about two people probing the occult and discovering its darkness. Recommended.