Darklight (2004)


It’s not so much that “Darklight” is a terrible movie, it’s just so lackluster. You figure a movie with such prime material for a dark superhero thriller would be fun, or at least campy, but “Darklight” is a lethargic film. I figured it was me the first time I watched this back in 2004, but ten years later, and the film is still so lifeless and lacking in any kind of charisma or charm. Not even the lovely Shiri Appleby seems to be enjoying this role. She plays a mythical female demon cast out of the Garden of Eden for defying men who becomes a superhero in modern times and ends up serving men, anyway. That’s not a good reason to root for a superhero if you ask me.

Before Eve, there was supposedly the mythical Lilith, a woman who dared to talk back to her creator, who was cast out of the Garden of Eden. Meanwhile, Adam was given a more submissive mate named Eve from his rib. Lilith went on to become a demon, and (for reasons never explained) is hunted by man. Particularly she’s hunted by an ancient order of male hunters named “The Faith” that manage to corner and hunt down Lilith after years of devouring people from her cave. Apparently being a demon grants a longer life than Adam and Eve had. For reasons also never explained, Lilith is caged and then brainwashed to become a human. Her memories are taken away, and she’s dropped in to society to become a transient. With limited memories, she’s now called L, and spends her time researching biblical curses to figure out what she is, when she’s not working in a flower shop and riding around on her motorcycle.

You figure considering she’s injected with a homing beacon the brotherhood would limit her activity from the shadows, but lo and behold she’s a motorcycle riding pixie who spends her time brooding. Or at least what Shiri Appleby considers brooding. Appleby is a fine actress and gorgeous, but she’s miscast in this role. She just doesn’t pull off bad ass, thus her attempts to build this heroine come off as forced, and inadvertently comical. And the specifics are also never explained. When Lilith regains her memory, why doesn’t she just think: “Oh, right! I’m a demon! Time to pick up where I left off”? And what happens when she’s completely made up for her sins and the marks on her arm are gone?

Does she go back to the Garden of Eden? Does she go to heaven? And what is dark light really? Why can Lilith sometimes be human, sometimes be semi-demonic, and other times become completely demonic? Are there other demons out there like her? Is Dracula working as a hot dog vendor and doesn’t know it? “Darklight” seems to be a misguided jumping point for a full fledged series, and with better resources perhaps something good could have been mined from this. Perhaps. But judging by the movie, the writers and director had no idea what they were interested in conveying going in; “Darklight” suffers mainly because it’s boring, bland and listless, and should only be watched if you’re a hardcore fan of star Appleby. That’s if you can stay awake until the end.