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Cast: Pollyanna McIntosh (AMC's The Walking Dead), Bryan Batt (AMC's Mad Men), Lauryn Canny (TV's Amber), Nora-Jane Noone (The Descent), Cooper Andrews (The Walking Dead)

Director: Pollyanna McIntosh

Genre: Horror/Drama

Year: 2019

Rating: NR

Found at a Catholic hospital filthy and ferocious, feral teenager Darlin' (Lauryn Canny) is whisked off to a care home run by The Bishop (Bryan Batt, AMC's Mad Men) and his obedient nuns where she is to be tamed into a "good girl." However, Darlin' holds a secret darker than the "sins" she is threatened with, and she is not traveling alone. The Woman (Pollyanna McIntosh, The Walking Dead), equally fierce and feral, who raised her is ever present and is determined to come for her no matter who tries to step in her way.

As the film opens, we see the Woman and Darlin' in front of Catholic hospital. Just as Darlin' goes to enter the building she is struck by a car and is taken in to care for her needs. She is dirty and ferocious. After getting her cleaned up the Bishop shows up and suggests she be sent to a group home for girls to have her rehabilitated. But what they don't know is The Woman is looking to get back her sister no matter what the cost.

The film is a direct sequel to 2011's The Woman. This time around it deals more with the young girl and it takes aim at the Catholic church for their corrupt and perverted ways. It is a coming of age film as we get to see Darlin' begin to become a normal young girl but we also get to see the corruption as the church and the pervert Bishop look to gain from civilizing young Darlin'. Much like 'The Woman' this film too has its social messages but I didn't really care for the Catholic church angle simply because I am disgusted with what they have been able to get away with for centuries now and it makes me sick to even think about. Besides thatI did enjoy Darlin' and her story and the other girls in the home especially the creepy yet funny twins who both spoke and said the same things at the same time.

While Darlin' is being reprogrammed, we get to also see the Woman as she makes her way around while looking to find her kin. She first hits the hospital and there is carnage to me had but Darlin' is nowhere to be found. It isn't until she sees a headline in a newspaper on a park bench that shows Darlin' that she knows where she is. Together with a group of homeless misfits she travels to the church where Darlin' is about to receive her first communion. Once the killing begins the homeless group runs off while the Woman takes care of business. There is also another angle to the story that involves the secret Darlin' has.

Over-all I liked the film but would have liked to have seen a bit more killing because it does drag a bit in spots but I did enjoy Darlin' and her coming of age story. The film was directed by Pollyanna McIntosh who also returns to play The Woman as well and she chews up every scene she is in. She also wrote and directed the film too and I am all about girl power when it comes to films so she did a great job in her directorial debut. The rest of the cast did a great job as well including Lauryn Canny who plays Darlin'. She did a fantastic job going from a feral girl to a some what innocent one, for a while anyway.

For me 'Darlin' wasn't as good as 'The Woman' and it did have potential to be a lot better but I still think it is worth a look. It had a good bit of drama, some humor and some good violence for all you horror fans out there. The film certainly packs a bite and it has a story that will leave you thinking long after it is over. The film will be in select theaters and on VOD JULY 12, 2019. If you are a fan of 'The Woman' then be sure to check out 'Darlin'.

Released by Dark Sky Films

*** 1/4 Out Of *****


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