Two lovers parked in a wooded area find themselves stalked by a hooded figure. When the man gets out to check on a noise, he’s murdered and the woman taken. Skip forward nine months, the woman is laying in the dirt screaming, ready to give birth. Two hooded figures are there by her side as she delivers and the scene closes.
Following a time jump, we meet a family, James (AJ Bowen) a father with cancer, Casey (Brea Grant) the mother, Jason (Joshua Hoffman) their son, their daughter Jessica (Sophie Dalah) and her friend (Elise Luthman) Becky on their way to a cabin. Not long after their arrival, they find a woman (Barbra Crampton) in the snow, after bringing her back to the cabin they learn they have made a fatal mistake.
As the film plays out we see scenes from a crime series called “Inside Crime” where we learn that Casey killed her entire family, the family we are seeing. The show tells the story as if it happened in the past revealing the brutality that awaits the family as we watch the events play out. While this move could have been disastrous, it works out well for Dead Night.
I’ll be honest, the trailer for Dead Night doesn’t do it justice. What I thought was going to be a minor “B” horror film turned out to be much more. It is interesting, unique, and surprising.
I knew that the film had supernatural elements, but the twist was a complete surprise. I can’t help but feel like they were setting the movie up for a sequel, at least I hope that that’s where they are going with it. I think there’s a lot of potential for a franchise and I’d like to see where the story goes.
As for the special effects, they are well done and are pretty creepy. I really liked the fact that practical effects were involved, we just don’t see that enough these days. Make sure you don’t miss the transformation scene near the end. It had An American Werewolf in Londonesque feel.
The cinematography in Dead Night is top notch, especially when it came to the scenes in the snow-covered woods. The shots of the forest are downright beautiful.
Directed by Brad Baruh and written by Irving Walker, the same team that brought us John Dies At the End, Dead Night is definitely worth watching. In fact, I’m giving it a 4 out of 5. The reason it didn’t get a perfect score is that I felt like we just didn’t learn enough about the supernatural elements, the creatures, and the witches in the movie. Why have these entities as a key element and not tell us more?
Luckily, you don’t have to wait to watch it. Dead Night is now out on DVD, from Dark Sky Films! Bonus features include deleted scenes such as a clip from “Inside Crime”, a scene of a girl, caged and pregnant, and a scene of her watching “Inside Crime”.