Press Clippings

Dave Davis
April 28, 2006

In the harsh realm of Los Angeles, a beleaguered young Latino messenger grits his teeth and bears a constant stream of racist insults from just about everyone he encounters, whether it's nicknames like "Taco", "Sancho" or "Pepe", or simply a greeting of "Do you speak English?" His bosses are a trio of powerful Hollywood agents, the kind of Buddy Ackerman-esque dickheads who feel that since they endured years of abusive behavior on their way up, all underlings should similarly suffer.

As part of his slow journey to becoming an agent, the messenger delivers important "packages" for the agents - narcotics for pampered celebrity talent who can't find their motivation without a hit. The agents are looking to be players in drug trafficking as well as showbiz, but when they realize the messenger alone may not be sufficient for their quantities, they convince him to involve his blind best friend Chris (against his girlfriend's wishes). Needless to say, things do not turn out well.

"In the Dark" was certainly a pleasant surprise - the comedy is never excessively quirky, the dialogue and crime aspect don't come across in that ubiquitous self-conscious post-Tarantino manner, and it makes a social statement without being cloying or didactic. The solid cast (there are only a half-dozen major characters) deliver very natural performances without feeling "written", particularly our unnamed protagonist.   And the movie looks far better than a little no-budget digital film has any right to, thanks to first-time feature director Letia Miller's confident eye and guidance of a clever and unpredictable story.