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Out of the Dark

Where to Watch Out of the Dark

R
1989

Out of the Dark is a late 1980s suspense-horror film that taps into the fears lurking in the shadows of urban life and the uneasy boundary between reality and the world of fantasy. Directed by Michael Schroeder, the movie offers a mix of slasher-style scares and psychological thrills, set against the backdrop of the Los Angeles nightlife and the sleazy underbelly of the modeling industry.

The film centers on the character Kevin Dwyer (Cameron Dye), a somewhat hapless yet charming photographer who becomes entangled in a web of mystery and danger. Kevin possesses an easy-going demeanor masking a more complicated interior life, and his work as a photographer brings him into frequent contact with beautiful models, one of them being played by Lynn Danielson-Rosenthal. Her character serves to introduce both an element of romance and further intrigue into the unfolding narrative.

The story kicks into high gear with a series of brutal murders targeting women working for an erotic phone service called 'Suite Nothings'. This service, a front for a more risqué and secretive operation, employs a bevy of attractive young women, who find themselves the victims of a deranged killer. The antagonist adopts the guise of a clown, a juxtaposition of the playful and the sinister, and uses this disarming costume to get close to his targets. The eerie clown makeup and outfit worn by the killer has become something of an iconic image associated with the film.

Karen Lorre portrays a character who finds herself deeply linked to the central mystery of the film. As the story unfolds, she must navigate a minefield of danger and deception, her performance adding depth and dimension to the film’s atmospheric tension.

Central to Out of the Dark's narrative is the interplay between what the characters do under the bright lights of their professional lives and what they hide in the shadows of their personal agendas. It's this interplay that becomes the breeding ground for the suspense that permeates the film, as characters' secrets and ulterior motives create a maze of red herrings and possible suspects.

Schroeder's direction aims to sustain an air of tension throughout, using the atmospheric streets of Los Angeles as a canvas. From the neon lights of Sunset Boulevard to the dimly lit alleys where danger lurks, the setting becomes almost a character in itself, contributing to the film's ominous tone. The soundtrack, typical of the era’s genre films, punctuates moments of terror and unease with jarring effect yet leans into synthesizer-heavy moodiness during quieter scenes.

As the police, led by a seasoned yet beleaguered detective, endeavor to piece together the circumstances of the homicides, Kevin and other central characters find themselves drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse. The investigation exposes a litany of dark secrets and half-truths, with the suspense ratcheted up by the potential of anyone in this seamy LA milieu being the perpetrator.

A sub-theme in Out of the Dark is the critique of the modeling industry and the sexual commodification of women, a theme ahead of its time, considering the current discussions around such issues. The film doesn't shy away from showcasing the predatory aspects of the industry, wherein exploitation and objectification are the orders of the day. As events spiral, the models' vulnerability becomes not just a plot point but also a sobering comment on society.

More than just a straightforward horror film with a run-of-the-mill killer, Out of the Dark positions itself to delve into the psychological elements behind the mask of normalcy that characters show the world. The movie dares to peer into the recesses of the human psyche, hinting at the darkness that can fester in the hearts of seemingly ordinary individuals.

The performances in Out of the Dark are in keeping with genre expectations; the actors inhabit their roles with a blend of self-awareness and earnestness that keeps viewers invested in their fates. Cameron Dye brings a relatable everyman quality to the lead role, while both Lynn Danielson-Rosenthal and Karen Lorre deliver multi-faceted portrayals of women caught in a terrifying scenario.

Despite its moments of levity and slasher-film tropes, Out of the Dark is a movie that repeatedly asks its audience to consider what horrors might be lurking behind the facades of everyday life. It melds the explicit terror of graphic violence with the more implicit dread of the unknown, making it a comprehensive package for fans of '80s horror-thrillers. The film has since become a cult classic for aficionados of the era, appreciated for its blend of genre staples and its distinctive aesthetic.

Out of the Dark is a Comedy, Horror, Thriller movie released in 1989. It has a runtime of . Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.3..

How to Watch Out of the Dark

Where can I stream Out of the Dark movie online? Out of the Dark is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Tubi TV, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Out of the Dark for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

5.3/10
Director
Michael Schroeder
Stars
Karen Witter, Karen Black, Bud Cort, Geoffrey Lewis, Tracey Walter, Divine, Cameron Dye
Also starring Cameron Dye
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