A Dark Song has been released in cinemas across America, to very strong reviews and responses from critics and viewers alike. There were repeated praises for writer/director Liam Gavin’s engagement with grief and emotion, alongside his mastery of classic horror tropes. In combining these two approaches with such great clarity, many reviewers described how Gavin was able to rise above typical expectations of the genre, and create a unique, thoroughly human film.
The New York Times called it a “striking marriage of acting and atmosphere”, and admired Gavin particularly for his construction of the film and how he maintained suspension throughout. Cinematographer Cathal Watters and composer Ray Harman were also praised for their craft, and what they brought to the film.
The Austin Chronicle wrote that “much talked about at Fantastic Fest 2016, A Dark Song earns every bit of praise that’s been directed its way”. They described the film as an “instant classic”, and one that is “so much more than genre fare”. Screen Anarchy discussed how in their opinion Gavin, in his new focus on much more human elements, opened up new avenues for engagement with the horror genre as a whole. Both Steve Oram and Katherine Walker’s performances were highlighted in how they perfectly complimented each other, and brought great depth to their roles. Collider ended their review with the statement “You’ve never seen a film like this one”, praising again Gavin’s incomparable originality in his approach to Horror. Collider also listed A Dark Song as one of the best horror movies of 2017 so far.