The Dark and the Wicked is a relentless ride through the stages of grief and guilt. Depicting a lived-in fear through the lens of family obligation, it offers zero minutes of respite. On a secluded farm in a rural every town, Louise (Marin Ireland) and Michael’s (Michael Abbott Jr.) father (Michael Zagst) has fallen ill. Despite their mother’s (Julie Oliver-Touchstone) protests, the estranged siblings arrive to offer final comforts. But it quickly becomes apparent that something sinister has taken hold of their parents. Full of waking nightmares made to send a chill up viewers’ spines, the more mundane moments also elicit a genuine fear, and it’s one that feels familiar. The familial tension lying just below the surface, threatening to come to a head, anchors Bryan Bertino’s film in an eerie and absorbing reality that serves as the perfect stage for the more shocking scares, especially the horrifying ending.