Darkon: The Movie


More action than “Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt!” More suspense than the two guys in that one video with the Christian family and the pizza girl!

Well, it appears to be a serious look at LARPing, or at the least serious like Grizzly Man’s this-is-serious-but-I-still-can’t-believe-you-do-this serious and not like so-series-it’s-hilarious serious.

— Alan

So I finally caught Darkon on IFC this past week. I have to say it was quite good…I was surprised.


They did a great job of showing why people would want to LARP. The scenes with people talking about how they want to be noted and make a difference but can’t succeed at this in real life were touching, actually, and didn’t come off as lame (though perhaps a bit sad?).

Anyone else catch it?

Oh, and do those people RPing dark elves really create and follow their own language!?

The name and theme of this film remind me of a similar documentary movie (the same movie?) about two youths, ages ~13 ~17, separated from their father. The boys are in the SCA. I wanted to see the movie but can’t recall the name of it. It was something like Drakkon…?

The film looks interesting. Personally, I can’t imagine ever doing any LARPing, beyond my continued roleplay as someone competent at my job. Nonetheless, Darkon is airing again Thurs & Friday this week on IFC, so I’ll try to check it out.

I watched a little over half of it and got bored. After seeing one battle with the foam swords and shields you’ve seen 'em all. But the real problem with this documentary is that the people being interviewed aren’t interesting and the filmmakers don’t really do a good job explaining the whole Larping thing.

So the whole thing looks like a bunch of grown men and women dressing up in costumes, speaking “ye olde english,” staging mock battles, and taking it all way too seriously. …wait.

Most pathetic moment? The woman living in her parents basement who goes off to Larp and is upset because she has to take her toddler son with her.

Sounds like you are against the concept of LARPs, which is fine. I’m not sure what you expected from the documentary, but yeah many of these people don’t have exciting lives outside the game. That’s pretty much the point.

However, I’m not an apologist for the movie. I found it quite interesting, but you didn’t. I expect many others won’t like it either, but I still recommend it.

Oh, I’m not against Larping. I think it’s a silly past time, but then I play lots of Video Games so what do I know. I was hoping the documentary would give me a better understanding of why it’s so compelling for some people. They cover the basics (“we live ordinary lives, we’re unsuccessful, we want to be heroes, etc”) but there’s got to be more than that, right? Watching them pretend to fight eachother under the pretense of political intrigue (something they themselves said was little more than an excuse to have the battles) didn’t do much to explain their interest.

I mean, is it like Paintball or something? There didn’t appear to be much of a point beyond the battles. So the costumes and the “ren talk” didn’t appear to have much of a point. Even the little Hex map and the rules of taking over territory seemed arbitrary to the point of being unexplainable.

I saw this over the Thanksgiving weekend. Being a gamer and understanding the fun in these sorts of things, I enjoyed it the movie as a documentary.

Throughout most of the movie I was a bit disturbed at how intense the Darkon LARPers are about their game. After some time, I saw it as being not much different than other hobbies people get into heavily. Most of the participants interviewed were quite defensive and a bit sour about their real lives.