Preying on the found footage/horror-at-home subgenre that's gained popularity since Todd Miro's debut short, Enter the Dark, is a wicked slice of simple fear. Miro, who worked as editor and producer on FMWL favorite The Commune, put together his first short from the comfort of his own home, but his 17 minute tale feels like more than the late night adventures of the average fellow with a handheld camera. (To be fair, Miro's film uses two cameras.)
The story of Enter the Dark focuses on two friends, Rob and Charles, played by Rob Sandusky and Charles Yoakum. Rob is the token skeptic, and his voice - which is creepily similar to comedian John Michael Higgins' voice - helps us understand from the beginning that he's not buying Charles' alleged haunting. Their journey offers some of the things you'd see on an episode of Ghost Hunters, but also throws in some unique touches to create scares with children's books and stuffed animals.
It's impossible to dive into a 17 minute story without giving away the ending, so I'm slightly limited in regard to what I can say about the story as a whole. But I can assure you that I didn't see the twist coming, despite a couple of hints that I picked up on a second viewing. Miro's story works like a good horror tale should, suckering us in with one hand while it's preparing to pop up and scare us with the other. There's a command here that can't be taught, and Miro shows a natural gift for creating tension.
Enter the Dark might not pass for The Twilight Zone - the final reveal is more aggressive than it is poetic - but it's a fine way to wrap up Miro's tale in a quick manner, and it leaves the film open to discussion as the credits roll. The time and effort Miro and has crew put into the film pays off, because the simple story sucks in the viewer and keeps us hungry for more.
For more information on Enter the Dark, check out the film's website or check the film out at Indieflix!