Director: Coz Greenop
Written By: Lee Apsey, Coz Greenop
Starring: April Pearson, Lynne Anne Rodgers
Synopsis: An abandoned paramour tracks her lover down to a distant lighthouse. When she finds her beyond hope she must find a way to save a child from the malignant spirit of her deceased father and the madness of her mother.
Dark Beacon is the intriguing supernatural mystery from the mind of Yorkshire born filmmaker Coz Greenop. Almost immediately audiences are introduced to Amy (April Pearson) who has been searching for her lover for quite some time. After tracking her down at an isolated lighthouse, Amy reunites with Beth (Lynne Anne Rodgers) and her daughter Maya (Kendra Mei) and it’s clear something is wrong.
As director Greenop has done a very admirable job with this slow-burning chiller. He builds a steady amount of tension injecting the usual horror tropes here and there to keep the momentum right until the final act. However, this is not just standard indie horror fare, no. Dark Beacon, although not as savage as more recent British horror titles, it still retains its notoriety as a well-made ghost story. Featuring an intriguing plot, stunning cinematography by Haider Zafar, Greenop delivers several well-executed scares along the way that are guaranteed to send icy chills down your spine.
The cast equally works just as hard to keep audiences invested. In a post-Skins appearance, April Pearson is great in the lead role as Amy. She is the voice of reason when things start to get spooky. Meanwhile, offering a complementary presence, Lynne Anne Rogers does a great job to manage Beth’s spiralling mental health incredibly well. Also, throw in a solid performance from newcomer Kendra Mei as Beth’s daughter Maya, and what you have is a strong dynamic that doesn’t need to work hard to keep the film ticking along as it should.
As a whole, I was thoroughly impressed by what Dark Beacon has to offer audiences. It certainly holds its own as a nicely-paced ghost story and there are more than a handful of moments equally spread throughout the film that won’t have to work too hard to keep nervous viewers on the edge of their seat. However, I do feel that by employing a restrained approach to horror, Dark Beacon will inevitably struggle to keep most horror fans happy. That said, I do admire the hard work on display here and for that reason, you would be doing yourself an injustice if you don’t add this film to your watchlist.
By Jon Dickinson