This narrative is the distilled essence of a feature I have written, as I hope to provide a glimpse into the dark worlds I create. Like the feature, Darkness Finds the Fearful illustrates human nature in its rawest form and examines how human life is valued. I wrote the feature because I was fed up with horror clichés—survivors portrayed as vapid, thoughtless, and weak that are sacrificed for gratuitous gore. I don’t shy away from violence if it serves the story, but death only instills an emotional reaction in audiences if the characters have a soul. To mock but also enhance the genre, I wrote the feature to showcase close friendships, survival instincts, and prominent female characters. The short embodies that same spirit by presenting human nature as it truly is, without condoning or condemning.
The portrayal of women and realistic people in general is important to me. I strive to portray characters with depth—something I equate to complexity over mere strength or altruism. "Natalie" is a determined and resourceful woman, but she is also fallible, conflicted between her need to be protective and need to survive. Characters are relatable in their primal goals, in their mistakes and misgivings. Subconsciously, I think we want to be validated in our faults, likely why we are drawn to these characters, but likewise characters have to learn something. A path must be forged. I’ve chosen this story because I believe introspection is important for us as humans. We should always be willing to examine our humanity, unfiltered and at its deepest level. By exploring these aspects, we can be more honest with ourselves and grow, even from fictional experiences.
Sin Ribbon is an artist, filmmaker, and storyteller. She wrote the short horror-thriller Darkness Finds the Fearful and will direct it for her graduate thesis at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
When first approached by Sin to work on the film, I was drawn in by her approach to horror. Not only does the focus of the film rest primarily upon questions of human nature, but the film expresses itself through the lenses provided by its characters – the strongest of which are women. In many horror and thriller films, women play subordinate or "damsel" roles that require them to be rescued by men. In Darkness Finds the Fearful, viewers will find this is not the case. As a woman myself and a fan of well-written characters like "Natalie," I realized the sort of impact a film like this could have on the genre and wanted to be part of it.
As producer, my main concerns with this film are its logistics. The locations properly reflect the aspects of Sin’s vision, the actors thoroughly represent their respective characters, and the quality of the film will be high because of our insistence to get it right. With pre-production underway and principal shooting around the corner, it’s an exciting time at Team Darkness.
Sommersill Tarabek is a filmmaker and producer of Darkness Finds the Fearful.