End of the Night Review – IGN

Night’s End debuts on Shudder on March 31.

While Night’s End is a significant departure from director Jennifer Reeder’s acclaimed 2019 neo-noir Knives and Skin, it’s still a sonic paranormal thriller. Knives and Skin oozes rebellious neon styles while Night’s End plays by the book in terms of supernatural storytelling of housebound ghost tales – it becomes apparent within minutes that Reeder is directing someone else’s script. Writer Brett Neveu imagines haunted house cinema in a more populated tenant environment by adhering to all the no-no rules of horror characters summoning evil. Reeder, meanwhile, is there to walk the audience through this step-by-step vision, which gets the job done. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but shows a steady hand from Reeder. And as someone who’s always curious about how horror will continue to evolve with technology, Night’s End scratches that itch of live-action nightmares and click-seeker stupidity.

Geno Walker plays “anxious locked-up” Ken Barber, who is the film’s workaround as a pandemic project with minimal cast interactions. Ken has lost his family, lives alone, and only engages with companions Terry (Felonious Munk) and Kelsey (Kate Arrington) — and Kelsey’s husband Isaac, played by Michael Shannon — via Zoom chats. Otherwise, Walker is alone in most scenes as Isaac starts a YouTube channel and tries to achieve fame by engaging with ultra-popular user Dark Corners (Daniel Kyri) and their haunting compilation videos. That’s when Ken begins to interact with occult specialist Colin Albertson (Lawrence Grimm) and breaks all the horror movie regulations, from reading Latin passages aloud to using ritual objects with markings. strange.

Night’s End is somewhat predictable as Ken investigates the horrific history of his apartment, with a murderous former tenant. What begins with a strange occurrence when an object falls from Ken’s wall in the background of one of his vlogs becomes a haunted house exploration in tighter corners. Ken researches the “Wellwoods” and tries to learn what spirits might inhabit his domain, as Kelsey and Terry urge him to become popular enough to score a crossover segment with Dark Corners. There’s nothing unexpected here for horror fans, but Reeder’s direction pushes the intricacies of Night’s End forward at a good pace.

In terms of horror, Ken is tormented from behind as he sits in front of his laptop. Ghostly interactions usually begin when a character appears in the hallway or doorway behind them, or when their screen flashes to suggest a disturbance. That’s all we’ve seen since.”screen life“Horror became popular with titles like The Den and friendless, just specific to Ken’s situation. We watch him rebuild his life after a breakdown, and Walker does well to engage with Ken’s inner demons while dealing with literal demons in his daily life. Ken struggles to stay consistent in his dealings with his children, and has an obsession with a Pepto-Bismol-like product that he mixes with coffee or alcohol, as well as an apparent drinking problem. Not every horror movie can feature characters like Ken, who grab attention themselves while their nightmare unfolds.

Frustratingly, Night’s End feels like it has a low ceiling in terms of production quality. The familiar haunted trappings of Ken’s apartment are meant to get more dangerous in the third act’s live-action win – but the low-budget affair can only accomplish a lot with the digital demon effects and hands-on crafts. that we see. The storytelling is up to scratch and Neveu upgrades the haunted house plans with internet connectivity, but the effects lack the impressive fame of Reeder’s Knives and Skin. It looks like it’s about a filmmaker going all out with his resources, rescued by Reeder’s confidence behind a creepy minimalism that tackles mostly isolated horror tale telling mostly online.

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