When we consider horror cinema, our first thoughts are likely to drift to zombies, monsters, serial killers, the supernatural or paranormal. Whilst our imaginations or fantasies can be frightening, nothing is truly quite as terrifying as what can happen in real life. It’s a difficult task to illustrate this on the big screen, especially in genre cinema. Let the Right One in is a fine example. As is Justin P. Lange’s new film, The Dark.

Josef (Karl Markovics) travels to ‘Devil’s Den’ with a young boy Alex (Toby Nichols) who he has kidnapped, mutilated and blinded in his boot. When he arrives, Josef is attacked and killed by Mina (Nadia Alexander), an undead girl who haunts the woods. She preys on any travellers who enter and devours their bodies. Mina, who was the victim of horrific abuse, takes pity on Alex and decides to help and protect him.

Whilst The Dark isn’t quite as successful as Tomas Alfredson’s film, it’s a very tender and surprisingly sweet story of friendship. This is all played out against the background of almost unbelievably dreadful abuse. There are some very good horror moments and nice set-ups, but it’s the relationship between Mina and Alex which really centres the film. Nadia Alexander is exceptional. The Dark is a powerful drama cleverly sewn up within a brilliantly handled horror film.

The Dark is released on DVD and Digital by FrightFest Presents on 22 October.