8 November 2012 | PeterMitchell-506-564364
A dark disturbed mind at work
Here's an original, psychological thriller with an interesting premise. From the word go, we're thrown right into the lonely world of our young disturbed individual, Mike, a budding photographer and extra talented artist who spends hours on end in his dark room. Why? He's obsessed with his father's selfish mistress, the beautiful Nicki (Anna Jemison) who naturally slips into this role, a mixture of good and bad. He's been stalking her for god knows how long. He's even gone to such lengths as getting a job as the same place of employment, a dress shop, run by, would you believe it (Rowena 'Pat the rat' Wallace of Sons and daughter's fame). That's how obsessed he is. He even follows the two to his dad's hideaway, and sneaks in a back window. While listening to the two, he fondles and caresses a stuffed rag doll, pressing it up against his face, as if it's Nicky. This is a very disturbed individual. He soon strikes up a sexual relationship with her. His father, a doctor (Alan Cassell) is oblivious to the goings on of his son. There is a barrier between father and son, here, a non communication, and this has put a great deal of stress on the suffering mother, unawares of her husband's affair. One night, the argument that was bound to erupt, erupts with Mike moving out into this crappy, dingy one room studio in Woolloomooloo. And what does he do, utilizes half of it for a dark room with a manifold of hanging photos of you know who. One night while bedding Nicki, he fails sexually, as he keeps seeing his Dad naked, doing it with her in the same room, while he's taking photographs from the roof of building, adjacent. See. Obsessed. Mike is played with great intensity by Svet Kovich in his only film while Cassell is Cassell, a good dramatic performance, nothing more. Mike finally resorts to blackmail, but his father won't back down, so inevitably he leaves the wife for Nicky, so you can guess the outcome, and it's not a pretty one. This film has a great structure of situations throughout. You can tell the story's been carefully thought out, although the dialogue could of been a bit better, I felt. But with that aside, The Dark Room is one of these lost Aussie gems of olden days, a nifty little thriller with a sufficient number of cast and scenes. The brief appearance of one of two doped up uni students, asking Mike for directions, in King's Cross (the big Coca Cola sign always evident behind) just happens to be Baz Luhrman of all people, another reason to watch this film, I guess. This film is deserve'd of people's attention, especially from us ocker viewers. Don't let this one pass.