VERMONT: Dark August

A very spooky, criminally underseen New England occult-a-thon! Here, a fish out of water scenario grows into a metaphorical whale beached in the Nairobi, as a NYC artist transplanted to Vermont accidentally kills a local girl, and must enlist the help of a witch to ward off the curse laid on him by the dead girl’s menacing grandpa. Even though it concerns itself deeply with the “dark arts”, Dark August avoids becoming a routine exploitationer, balancing its otherworldliness with a healthy dollop of skepticism and gentle critique of the occult. The journey of Sal, the boorish city slicker whose sense of vengeance overrides the plague of his guilt, is rendered in marvellously unsettling tones, lending genuine psychological heft to the film’s diversions into Nic Roeg-style bug-out territory. Plus, you can’t fault any Seventies genre piece for slathering on the prog rock touches and ear-stabbing synth burples, can you? (We certainly can’t.)
Dir. Martin Goldman, 1976, 35mm, 87 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Dark August”!