If you think New Zealand horror tends to be light-hearted, Coming Home in the Dark is here to shake that idea right out of you. This incredibly grim and vicious road trip movie has been making the rounds at festivals for months, and now we finally have a trailer and new poster to share with you.

Coming Home in the Dark is the first feature film from director James Ashcroft and stars Daniel Gillies (Vampire Diaries, The Originals) as the main protagonist, Mandrake. Gillies’ performance is so chilling that Modern Horrors reviewer Jeremy Burgess declared him “villain of the year” in his review of the film from our Chattanooga Film Fest coverage earlier this year. I probably wouldn’t go into this one expecting to feel good after it–but if you are looking for gritty, unflinching terror, Coming Home in the Dark is likely to be what you’re looking for.

Coming Home in the Dark will be in select theaters and on VOD on October 1st, 2021

A family’s idyllic outing at an isolated coastline descends into terror when high school teacher Alan ‘Hoaggie’ Hoaganraad, his wife Jill, and stepsons Maika and Jordon unexpectedly come across a pair of murderous drifters – the enigmatic psychopath Mandrake and his hulking man-child accomplice Tubs – who thrust them into a nightmare road trip. At first, the family’s terror seems to be born of a random encounter with two sociopaths, but as the night drags on, Hoaggie and Jill realize that this nightmare was set in motion 20 years earlier; and as they approach their mysterious final destination, Mandrake reveals the horrible secret driving his actions.