Written and directed by Nicholas Michael Jacobs, the indie (very, very indie) film Night is his debut. It will be released on Amazon Prime Video on March 23rd 2019.
I really was torn about writing this review. On the one hand the screener was provided for this purpose. On the other it’s not a good film, not at all.
The first few minutes pretty much tell you everything you need to know about this film. As the character known as Adam (Jacobs himself) adjusts his mask. It’s an unbearable start as the out of focus camera work makes it feel like it is going on for ever. When it finally does get going, we then get Adam following a woman for another few minutes before he grabs her from behind.
This is Judy (Gianna Jacobs) who wakes up tied to a chair in front of a camera. It seems as though Adam is going to live-stream her torture and death, something he has been doing for a while now.
At this stage, Night is promising as it seems as though we’re going to get a Hostel-type torture film but that’s not the case. For starters, it’s not a gory film, nor is it particularly violent. He slaps her around a bit, cuts her arm and in one unintentionally hilarious scene kicks her a few times. This mistreatment might have been effective if the brutality built and built but it just doesn’t. Even though Adam’s response to his live-stream audience suggest otherwise.
Not only that but the ‘violent’ moments look really fake. Adam standing directly in the shot so we and his live stream viewers can’t really see the blows land. The worst comes from the cutting of Judy’s arm though as he doesn’t make a sound while he does it. Yes, she is gagged but why not some muffled screams?
The eventual payoff, Judy turning the tables on Adam, could have been a good payoff had we had any reason to even care about her. We know nothing about her and when she does speak her delivery is…not great.
It’s just over an hour long but it really drags. Not enough happens and added moments such as Adam taking a phone call from a woman who pleads with him to stop or a neighbour calling having heard a scream, don’t amount to anything.
It’s a real shame as the gritty indie style could have resulted in a really nasty, underground horror. Night is not that.
The Final Score - 2/10