Movie Review: DEAD NIGHT (2018)

Yo genre fiends! I’m back with my personal insight on a real doozy of a film titled DEAD NIGHT. The film is directed by Brad Baruh and is being released by Dark Sky Films (Victor Crowley, House of the Devil, We Are Still Here). For a description of the plot I turned to IMDB:

A caring mother loses her sanity, setting off a chain of events resulting in tragedy and murder. The story of Casey Pollack unfolds from two very different perspectives when one night in the woods culminates in absolute terror.

The first thing I knew about this film prior to checking it out was that Barbara Crampton was in it. Ultimately, that was the selling point because I’m typically skeptical of new films; however, Dark Sky Films hasn’t let me down in the past, so I went into this with a smiling face and an open mind.

The first thing I noticed in the film was the gloomy and overcast scenery which helped capture the sheer evil of Crampton’s character Leslie, as well as the overwhelming sense of dread that carries throughout the entire plot. The characters all seemed genuinely distraught once the metaphorical shit hit the chopping blades. The ill father (AJ Bowden) appeared to have a lack of caring, which I believed fell in line fairly well with his character, but at first seemed to fall short for me; however, it ultimately ended up growing on me.

The scenery and aesthetic reminded me a lot of 30 Days of Night because of the snowy darkness which tied in appropriately to the somewhat obvious demonic agenda. There’s a decent amount of horror films that are based in a snowy setting and there’s just something so satisfying about seeing blood splatter on a heavily powdered white surface. As a viewer, this image worked perfectly for me.

Being a major fan of gore and practical effects, I felt that this film packed my gullet and satisfied my need for unsavory scenes. The upside of this, for fans that aren’t particularly fond of gore, is that it’s not long lived like in films such as Evil Dead or Dead Alive. Though this begs the question, if you’re watching films like this, why bother if you don’t like that kind of stuff? Anyways, the practical effects were awesome as well as the gnarly sound effects that co-existed within them. Loud snapping, gurgling noises that fell appropriately into place. Since I was watching this with headphones the sound effects became relatively startling at times. I think that’s great because if the imagery doesn’t scare you, the noises will.

I encountered a small bit of confusion due to a few loose ends; however, for the most part, everything really does tie together during the climax and final scene. As I mentioned above there’s an obvious satanic agenda which for the most part was easy to follow. The agenda itself is what I found hard to understand, that is until it wrapped around itself and was presented as a bow atop a genre fans gift.

This film is clearly fan service to horror fans which makes it really hard to dislike. Aside from that, everything else just meshed well together and I found this film to be really intriguing. I think most horror fans will gravitate towards this film due to the different elements at play.

DEAD NIGHT will have a wide release on July 27, 2018 so please do yourself a favor and check it out. I can see this film being thrown onto the Shudder streaming platform and receiving a praise from the wider horror audiences as well.

Devin March
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