A fantastic horror film The Arrival from the Darkness and an action drama The Poisoned Light belong to the most significant works of the Czech silent film cinematography. Both films are excellent examples of contemporary film techniques and adaptations, which were popular in European and Hollywood production.
It is an incredibly interesting work, which deserves your attention for many different reasons. Today's audience has of course completely different point of view than the audience from the beginning of 20th century. For today’s viewer this film must give an impression of funny and naive, maybe even silly, work. But therein lies its magic, in its great ambitions, which this old exceptional film had a plenty. It is the feeling of old film times, which have their undeniable charms and special atmosphere. Even the act of remaking this film alone means, that it was worth it and it has a potential to entertain the modern audience. In combination with live music background, which I was able to attend, it is an amazing experience, which I can recommend to every film fan. I was excited to see this silent movie in this kind of special projection. The combination of silent film with live music performance has a great potential. I feel it may become popular among the film fan community.
Jan Stanislav Kolar enjoyed using very popular flashbacks when building his narration. Karel Lamac, on the other hand, preferred straight built stories based on concurrently developing storylines. In this mutually written and directed work The Poisoned Light they reached a rare combination of both techniques. It was their second mutual film, and a very important role played Anny Ondrakova.
Both Jan Stanislav Kolar and Karel Lamac, which by the way had also important roles in the film, developed a pattern of criminal story with fantasy elements. Film protagonists reveal the mysteries from the past to enlighten current secrets, while the bad guys devise sinister plans. The Poisoned Light doesn’t have its storyline divided to individuals episodes, which was a common practice of other Czech films in that time period. All motives from the film’s beginning are continuously developed, while they are interrupted with necessary flashbacks to the past. An hour long film has a cohesive storyline with partial culmination in its half. The audience’s attention is reached with precise analytic cut, when the scenes are switched from overall shots to detail shots of characters and important objects. The mutual affection and love tension between characters dynamically graduates the criminal storyline and prepares the ground for a double action climax, which, as the whole film, includes soft self-irony.