An evil is unleashed in a small town when a logging company sets up shop in the neighboring woods. Isolated and threatened, a mysterious force hidden within the trees outside the small town of Maiden Woods, strikes fear in the townspeople as Sheriff Paul Shields attempts to overcome the demons of his past while protecting those that he loves.
**_The Devil’s Footprints phenomenon rears its head in a wintery town in New York_** A grieving sheriff & his deputy (Kevin Durand and Lukas Haas) investigate mysterious happenings as animals go missing and people start dying. Is it some kind of unknown predatory animal, a spirit-beast linked to American Indian lore, or something else? “Dark Was the Night” (2014) is mystery/horror of the monster-in-the-woods variety, but not the cabin-in-the-woods kind. Like the more recent “The Hunting” (2021), there’s a reverent ambiance to the slow-burn proceedings along the lines of “The Mothman Prophecies” (2002) and “Wendigo” (2001). It’s grim and deadly serious so don’t expect the zippy black amusement of, say, "The Wolf of Snow Hollow" (2020). While the milieu of all of these movies is similar, it’s the protagonists and the nature of the threat that varies. The creators wisely only show quick glimpses of the threat and wait till the climax for the big reveal, which unfortunately is a CGI letdown. Meanwhile the parting shot is eye-rolling. Yet, up to that point this is moody creature mystery with nice suspense and horrific bits. Another issue I can’t neglect to mention is that there isn’t enough focus on the female cast (not talkin’ ’bout nudity or sleaze). In other words, the story’s just too male-oriented. It needed a more prominent female character to stir interest or shake things up. The aforementioned “The Hunting” is a good example of what I’m talking about. The film runs 1 hour, 39 minutes, and was shot in Southampton, New York, which is at the southeastern tip of Long Island. GRADE: B-