Art & Entertainment

‘Orion And The Dark’ On Netflix Movie Review: Thought-Provoking And Exploring Childhood Existential Ideas

Outlook Rating:
3.5 / 5

Netflix is here with its latest animated film ‘Orion And The Dark’. Is the film worth your time? Or can you simply skip it? Read the full movie review to find out.

A Still From ‘Orion And The Dark’ Photo: Instagram

Hollywood manages to bring out films targeted towards young kids every now and then. The latest Netflix release ‘Orion And The Dark’ is another such story of a young boy who has an active imagination and finds himself being scared of the dark. What happens next is what the film is all about.

‘Orion And The Dark’: Story

Orion seems a lot like your average elementary school kid. He is very shy, unassuming of things and, at the same time, harbours a secret crush on a fellow classmate. Despite the normal exterior, Orion is also a boy filled with adolescent anxiety and gets completely consumed by some of the most irrational fears which every kid of that age struggles with. He is scared of bees, dogs, the ocean, cell phone waves, murderous gutter clowns, and even falling off of a cliff. Most of these are but natural, however, the most he is afraid of is the dark. He confronts dark on a daily basis. But things take a turn when the literal embodiment of fear visits him and tries to convince Orion that he isn’t that bad. To prove himself, Dark takes Orion on a 24-hour roller coaster journey all across the globe to show him that there isn’t anything to be afraid of in the night. What happens in this journey is what the story is all about.

‘Orion And The Dark’: Performances

Paul Walter Hauser manages to get a good depth into the voice. He not only makes it sound firm and fearful, but at the same time gets it to the pitch where you start feeling endearing and emotional towards the character. It’s a good balance to achieve.

Jacob Tremblay’s voice modulations are really apt for the character. Not for an instance do you feel not connected to the character. Being of such a young age, he manages to make you feel attached to the character by just his voice, and that’s a tremendous feat to achieve.

The rest of the supporting cast have done their parts decently, however, there’s no other character that stands out.

‘Orion And The Dark’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Sean Charmatz’s direction uses a brilliant technique by telling the story through the eyes of three generations. That’s a technique that not many filmmakers would have used. The way he keeps the story relatable yet jumping from one timeline to the other, and ensuring at the end that it still is understandable by kids is applause-worthy.

Charlie Kaufman’s writing is pretty much the best part about ‘Orion And The Dark’. The way he has brought to fore some of the most poignant fears that kids go through in their childhood is brilliant. He has tried to give a spin to the narrative by making sure that these traumatic elements eventually come out on the right side making sure that a correct message is sent over to the kids.

Kevin Sukho Lee’s editing is crisp. He makes sure that the film does get too long otherwise the adults sitting with the kids to watch the film would get bored. That’s a very tricky situation, and managing to get that to perfection shows his prowess on the chopping board.

The music by Robert Lydecker and Kevin Lax is also decent. While there are no standout songs or anything, but the way the they’ve got the background score to help you as a viewer feel like you’re narrating the story yourself is praiseworthy.

‘Orion And The Dark’: Cast & Crew

Director: Sean Charmatz

Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Paul Walter Hauser, Angela Bassett, Colin Hanks, Natasia Demetriou, Nat Faxon, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gugino

Available On: Netflix

Duration: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

‘Orion And The Dark’: Can Kids Watch It?


Outlook’s Verdict

‘Orion And The Dark’ is definitely one of the best fairytale stories to have been narrated in a long time. It’s simple, relatable and makes you feel like you’re telling it to a kid. The characters make you relive all your childhood scares and at the same time help you to see the bright side to those scares. It’s definitely a breezy One-Time Watch. I am going with 3.5 stars.