Welcome To The Darkness - Trailer
“A Rockumentary Like No Other”
Director and photographer Simon Emmett, known for his work with Vogue, Vanity Fair, and others, delves into the chaoticworld of The Darkness in his second feature-length film. Contrary to rockumentary norms, Emmett brings a
no-frills British sensibility, using long shots of mundane settings to portray the daily struggles of fallen stars making a modest comeback. The low budget adds a
lo-fi texture, creating an intimate, authentic feel. Emmett aims tocapture the human essence of the journey from normality to stardom and back, avoiding the typical music biography production. His focus on male existence, including troubled intimacy and fractured brotherhood, reflects his forte.
Emmett captures The Darkness’ unique journey from inventing bands to glam-rock success in the early 00s, navigating rejections, addiction, and fallouts. The film showcases the band’s resilient regrouping with trust and transparency as key artistic elements. Emmett, aided by producer Christine Cowin, navigates legal complexities while avoiding cliches in emotional scenes. The reflexive existence of frontman Justin Hawkins and the band is explored, balancing campness and rock greatness. Despite challenges, The Darkness achieves success, filling festival slots and supporting established acts. Emmett’s portrayal blends rockumentary and mockumentary strengths, focusing on human charisma and intellect without mocking the subjects. His signature style shines in this honest and concise true-to-life portraiture.
‘Welcome to the Darkness’, initially self-funded and almost a decade in the making, explores The Darkness’ journey, marked by trust-building on camera and a dramatic denouement—the frontman losing his voice. Overcoming hurdles, the film portrays the band’s shift to a healthier lifestyle post their turbulent era. At the core is Emmett’s theme of fandom during lows, evident in The Darkness Army’s loyalty akin to football fans at Underhill (his first feature length documentary, 2013). Reflecting on fame in 2023, Emmett and band member Dan note the unstoppable force of history. In an era fixated on youth and beauty, The Darkness defies norms, emphasizing dedication, care, and sweat over looks and age.