It’s incredible to think of it now, but in 2002, The Darkness was an unsigned band. By 2004, its key members- Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain and the original drummer Ed Graham- had sold over a million records. But in 2006, something heartbreaking occurred in rock history: The Darkness split up. Nine years later, The Darkness came back together to relaunch themselves.
Serving as a documentary feature about The Darkness, Welcome to The Darkness takes a major deep dive into the band’s challenges and significant hurdles from the band’s beginning in 2000 to the present day. Before their fame began, before big concerts and stages, they were rocking out in pubs and clubs, trying to transform themselves into something more significant. The Darkness was signed in 2003, and when they got to make their first music video, they gave it everything they had, telling themselves that if they gained nothing from it, “@#$ ‘em”. However, success followed, and in due time, the band gained so many fans worldwide that the fans started calling themselves ‘The Darkness Army’. With the band’s success growing rapidly, so did the impact of success on its members. With so many gigs without days off, drugs soon followed, and one member became destructive as their happiness flagged; they struggled with identity and eventually lost control.
Welcome to The Darkness clearly shows that each member has an intense love for music. Despite their passion for music, many people still have differing opinions about The Darkness and its members, struggling to understand their personalities and traits fully. On-screen, we get to see the band’s passion, positivity, and humour, as well as the hard-hitting, shocking, and surprising moments they survived. The discussions around rehab, cancer, and challenges surrounding the band’s success throughout this documentary stunned me. This is a highly informative documentary, and it feels like the band is revealing everything about themselves with no filter and without holding anything back. I walked away feeling inspired and grateful for the band’s honesty.
Overall, this feature is touching, enlightening, shocking, surprising, and hilarious. It’s highly evident that the band- Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan, humorous bassist Frankie Poullain, and Australian drummer Rufus Taylor- have overcome many challenges. The band has come through so much and consequently has a stronger bond. The Darkness has always been an unstoppable force filled with passion and the desire to rock, and this documentary feels personal without filters. Consequently, I walked away with a greater understanding of how The Darkness came to success, but also the significant hurdles they have conquered such as addiction, heartbreak, and major health challenges. Naturally, this is a must-watch regardless of whether you are a fan of the band or not, because the story and journey here are unforgettable.
Welcome to the Darkness (2023) will be available on major streaming platforms starting January 24th.