Against The Night
Against the Night is the so bad it's good horror movie I have been looking for. All of the actors are pretty bad and every character is a total moron. I watched part of it a second time with the commentary because I had to hear from the mad man that made this and he says he casted the actors via Skype, so that explains some of it. It looks like all of the electronics from Best Buy, both the ghost hunting "tools" the characters use and the ones he used to film the movie (he does mention buying one of the cameras there). Most of the movie looks like it was shot on an IPhone and doesn't quite look like a movie, but I think it looks pretty good, except for the multiple times where the camera wasn't sure what to focus on and we get blurry shots. They also didn't put much effort into the camera shots. Aside from the what we get from the cameras that the characters are holding, almost all of the other shots are also very shaky. I don't mean shaky like in the shaky-cam style but like every camera is handheld and the cameraman has shaky hands and moves to much. In all of the haunted location horror movies, the most important character is the location and while they did pick a sufficiently "haunted looking" location in Holmesburg Prison, it has some big drawbacks. The bulk of Holmesburg is abandoned, but not all of it; there is an active office building and a gymnasium that is sometimes used for prisoner overflow. This means that the totally abandoned prison of the movie, which is some made up place has florescent lights that you can see shining under doors and through doorways and through windows when they are outside. They spend most of the time in the legitimately abandoned part, so it's fine then, but the establishing shots paint a significantly different picture, although I guess active prison bureaucracy is scary too. The second issue is more of a story issue and this movie is littered with story issues. The prison is quickly established as spoke shaped, a center core with ten cell block "spokes" emanating. The spokes are not connected to each other and only connect to the core in the one place. One character shown a blueprint of the prison and asked what it looks like. Does she say spokes or a wheel? Nope! She fucking says "A crop circle!" The fuck it does! Has she seen a crop circle? We have established that cell blocks don't connect, so when the characters separate (not really a spoiler, because of course they do, it's a horror movie) and groups get locked in different cell blocks, a few go missing. The group in one cell block A (I'll just say Cell Block A because I don't think the actually name them in the movie) has already walked the length of their block and upon returning to the now locked gate that separate them from the core and hearing that some of their friends from a different cell block are missing, turn around and look for them in cell block A. Firstly, you've already walked it and they weren't there. Secondly, how could they be? They have to reason to have gone outside and the blocks do not connect! Well, eventually that second point creates a big problem because later, multiple groups find themselves in the same cell block even though one was locked in cell block A, one in B, and one in C. The only way they could have done that was to go outside and no one has gone through the outer doors. Again, they've shown us an overhead aerial shot that shows the cell blocks do not connect and the only door to the core is locked, so did they teleport, walk through a locked gate, or did someone forget that we know what the prison schematics look like? There are other glaring plot holes, but they fall into spoiler territory later in the movie. In a horror movie, they usually fall into the trope of characters making stupid, illogical and irrational decisions, but these characters push it. Again, many happen later in the movie and I'm not going to spoil anything, but they either have selective short term amnesia or are just the dumbest people alive. The story is dumb, illogical, and just confusing in summary. Another thing that sticks out is the unnecessary and illogical (there's that word again) sexual scenes. The opening has a sex scene where we can see the male character's underwear is still on (and not in a through the hole kind of way) and later the characters have to go the end of their respective cell block and place a steady cam. Everyone knows that there is a guy watching all the cameras on his laptop. One group is a couple and the start to give Mr laptop a private sex show where we see both take their tops off. Another is two girls and they make out with each other for the camera. The director says in his commentary "I wrote a lot of this movie for 13 year old boys and this is some stuff that thirteen year old boys would like." This combined with an overtly sexually aggressive character make quite a few uncomfortable scenes. There are so many problems with this movie and for most of them, the blame is purely on a lack of attention to detail and just not caring about the little things. The gore works all wrong with blood spatter being wildly overdone (the directions don't match up and the amount of blood is inconsistent with the actual slashes) and we never see the actual wounds, just copious amount of blood. There is a time where we can see the gate at the end of the cell block hallway and we see that it is shut. The we hear a slamming sound (clearly added in post) and the characters run to the gate and yell that it's closed. It was already closed before the slamming sound. For some people it may be annoying for characters to not be able to recognize a gas mask and all the other things I've mentioned and they will surely hate this movie. For me, every one of these things was hilarious. The terrible dialog (which the director says is often improvised), obvious inconsistencies and errors, and pure nonsense that this movie just oozes out make this a great "so bad it's good" movie. Don't get me wrong, clearly this is an absolutely terrible movie. Everything is just wrong and pure crap. However, I was constantly laughing and thoroughly entertained. Against the Night is a great film for a movie night with friends and I assume it's even more enjoyable after a couple 6-packs or a few bottles of wine. It won't be your favorite movie or even your favorite horror movie, but it just may be the one you enjoy watching the most. They's managed to unintentionally create one of the best comedies of 2017. As a real film, I can only give it 1.5, but as an experience, it's a 10 out of 10. I loved it.
By : Greg Mueller| Date : 1 month ago