Recent alumni MC graduate and avid film enthusiast, Curtis Everitt premiered his latest movie “Dark Circles” at the Malco Grandview Theatre in Madison on Tuesday, March 25. At 108 minutes, Dark Circles is the longest film Everitt has made to date.
Released from the artistic constraints of a private Christian university, Everitt has produced an R-rated murder mystery with discernable improvements from his previous productions.
“Dark Circles” was influenced by the AMC show “The Killing”. It is not just a show about a dead body and solving a murder. Rather, you build a relationship with the characters by watching them build relationships with one another.
Everitt explained, “There are a lot of generic police movies out there. They miss the point which is the characters. Watch “Lethal Weapon.” Those are the best police movies ever made. Kind of like ‘Dark Circles’, it has a dark side and a light side. I feel like I captured the same vibe.”
“Dark Circles” took one week to write and only ten days to film. Everitt would give it an R-Rating mainly because of the language. Now that he is not holding back anymore, he feels that he can finally make the film he has wanted to make since middle school.
“The Almost,” the film he will be premiering in September, is ten times more violent yet “Dark Circles” is more disturbing and has more language. Up to this point, he feels he has not been exploring the darkest stories that he has wanted to explore.
Everitt directs with a form of non- direction. He trusts his actors enough to put them in situations where they can just explore for themselves. “If you love movies that have lots of character in them, you are going to love this film. It was shot hand-held. It makes it more real. A tripod feels like you are just observing. This way it gives people more of a chance to interact inside what is happening.”
“Dark Circles” includes a subplot based on misuse of a legal prescription drug. Everitt says that it is “More realistic than dealing with cocaine.” In “Dark Circles,” Everitt attempts to communicate to his viewers that crime has consequence.
Despite some noted issues with lighting, audio, amateurish transitions, and especially cheesy music, “Dark Circles” received points for its well-written script. Everitt made the characters’ dialogues as natural as possible- hence some language, but not such a copious amount that it distracted too much of the viewer’s attention from what was going on during the scenes.
If anything, it was a good example of how to cater to your audience. Police dramas are not the kind of films that would be interesting for children to watch anyways.
“Dark Circles” offers romance, betrayal, suspense, a serial killer villain with Jack Sparrow’s walk and the Joker’s voice, comic relief, torture, and mystery. An overreaching observation about Curtis Everitt’s films is the attention to detail is somewhat lacking. Everybody is too young. The casting no matter their level of acting are hard to take seriously. This film really only has a few good actors.
However, the romance is surprisingly well put together. As the love story develops, there is a scene shot by the train tracks to a ballad voice-over singing and piano.
It works because there is no voice or dialogue which actually benefits the scene tremendously, because it focuses on the real chemistry they have. It makes the viewer pay more attention to their smiles and eye contact. The background noise ruins multiple scenes. The romance builds to an overdone kiss scene.
One of the highlights of “Dark Circles”, was the inclusion of an impromptu cast member addition in the form of a vlogger played by Andrew Petersen who in the Q&A after the premier commented, “I’m kind of an animated person.”
– Bethany Kuhn, Reporter