The Deep Dark (Gueules Noires) – Toronto After Dark 2023

TADFF 2023 Review The Deep Dark
Claustrophobic Lovecraftian terror and probably one of the best subterranean horror films since The Descent.

The Deep Dark (Gueules Noires) – Toronto After Dark 2023

Runtime: 01:43
Miners are forced to take a professor underground with them, to take samples for his measurements. After a landslide prevents them from going back up, they discover a crypt from another time, unknowingly waking up a bloodthirsty creature.

A team of French miners uncover an ancient evil in a hidden tomb in . Roland Neville () is the leader of a team of coal miners in 1956 France, which includes Louis (), Miguel (), Polo (), Santini (), and Morocon newcomer Amir (). Roland's team is assigned to escort Professor Berthier () to locate something 1000 metres underground. The team finds themselves in a crypt with a sarcophagus containing the ancient deity Mok'Nor Roth, the Eater of Souls. However, the creature soon wakes up, and with the exit sealed from an avalanche, the miners have to find a way to make it out of the dark alive.

The Deep Dark Synopsis

The Deep Dark, aka Gueules Noires, is a subterranean horror film written and directed by Mathieu Turi. During an exposition scene by Professor Berthier, Turi establishes a Lovecraftian mythology for the central creature of Mok'Nor Roth, as one of nine beings in servitude to the Great Old One, Cthulu. The multi-armed creature is wonderfully depicted practically via puppetry, while much of the film is lit only by the miners' headlamps. With the hieroglyphs written in the Arabic alphabet, newcomer Amir attempts to decipher Bertheir's notes to find a way out from this crypt.

My Thoughts on The Deep Dark

Even before the creature Mok'Nor Roth is unleashed in the film's second half, The Deep Dark is already an incredibly claustrophobic feeling film, which is probably best compared to Neil Marshall's 2005 film The Descent. The film features intense violence and gore as the miners find themselves torn apart by Mok'Nor Roth. The film also features a terrifying sequence involving a pitch-black corridor and a camera flash. This all results in The Deep Dark being quite possibly one of the best subterranean horror films in quite some time.

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Trailer for The Deep Dark (Gueules Noires) – Toronto After Dark 2023

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.