Formerly THE ORIGIN from our coverage of FANTASTIC FEST
Bleecker Street has announced stone-age horror thriller “THE ORIGIN,” one of the buzziest titles to emerge out of this year’s Fantastic Fest, is being retitled “OUT OF DARKNESS” and will be released exclusively in theaters stateside on February 9, 2024. The film, which had its world premiere at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival and most recently had its North American debut at 2023 Fantastic Fest, was nominated for five British Independent Film Awards this past year, with a win for breakthrough performance for Safia Oakley-Green.
OUT OF DARKNESS is a survival horror film following a group of six who have struggled across the narrow sea to find a new home. They are starving, desperate, and living 45,000 years ago. First they must find shelter, and they strike out across the tundra wastes towards the distant mountains that promise the abundant caves they need to survive. But when night falls, anticipation turns to fear and doubt as they realize they are not alone. As relationships in the group fracture, the determination of one young woman reveals the terrible actions taken to survive. Adding to the film’s authenticity, OUT OF DARKNESS is shot on location in the Scottish Highlands with the use of a bespoke language called “Tola,” which was developed specifically for the project by a linguist and an archaeologist.
Deadline film critic Damon Wise praised the film for its tremendous world-building, calling the artistic choices “bold” and “incredibly visual” as the craft “lends itself to a richer and more immersive experience in a big, dark cinema.” He goes on to describe the film as “a cautionary tale as old as time — or as the preternaturally wise Odal puts it, “The danger in bringing light to a dark place is that you might find out what lives in the darkness.”
The film was directed by Scottish helmer Andrew Cumming (Radiance, Clique) and written by Ruth Greenberg (The Spark), both of their feature debuts, and produced by Oliver Kassman (Saint Maude). The film stars breakout Safia Oakley-Green (Sherwood), Chuku Modu (Captain Marvel, The 100), Kit Young (Shadow and Bone), and Iola Evans (Choose or Die).