Quick Review: “Dark of Moon”

If you are a Pagan watching Dark of Moon, you probably will be thinking “I know her! I’ve met them! I’ve been there!” — even if, of course, you have not.

You will probably be so pleased to watch a feature-length film that treats Wicca and Druidry as normal rather than as scary or exotic that you will overlook the technical glitches and occasionally wooden dialog.

To me, skill in lighting separates the pros from the wannabes. The movie’s lighting was occasionally flat and harsh. M. is more conscious of dialog and kept saying that the first half of the movie was “propagandistic.”

And why all the door and window moldings have been removed from the Gardnerian covenstead must be a third-degree secret. It is odd, considering that the protagonists enter expecting something fancier than their own shared house, only to find quite the opposite.

At the center of the movie is an ensemble of Wiccan housemates, friends since college, each one single, members of the Coven of Mystic Light — and all on the threshold of “real life,” or as Beth says, “Woo-hoo, I’m an adult. What do I want from my life?”

The  zaftig Sammi (Angelia DeLuca) bubbles  her lines, most of which have to do with how much she enjoys various aspects of sex.

Like Samantha in Sex and the City, is she a gay man written as a female character? There is a lot of risqué humor in Dark of Moon, most of it about as subtle as a wet towel to the face.

Drew (Roger Conners), the actual gay housemate, is the only one with a back story—he is a would-be graphic artist waiting tables to pay the bills

The slacker-ish Miller (DJ Remark) seems to have wandered in from Clerks.

Zeke (Brad Arner), the tall, dark, and handsome one, works in —  wait for it — an occult-supply shop.

And in contrast to the conventional wisdom that says once a woman says “let’s just be friends,” any chance of romance is dead, Zeke’s long-time friend Beth (Kelly Rogers) genuinely wants him. With mobile features that register every emotional twinge, Rogers may have the most acting talent of the cast.

When Zeke leaves his old covenmates to join a Gardnerian group, the plot is set in motion.

The setting is northern Ohio, and the Gardnerian HPS is named Lady Circe. That may be an inside joke; if so, I did not find it all that funny. But maybe there was more than one Lady Circe in Ohio.

Or maybe we are in Cleveland, in which case The Drew Carey Show-with-pentagrams is still better than Charmed.

And in the end , each covener finds true love, or at least true lust, all in a setting where “Pagan” is the default setting — and that’s refreshing.

Order DVDs, read cast bios, view trailers and all the rest at the official website.