There are some classic tropes when it comes to horror films. Among them are begin trapped in a remote location, demonic possession and creepy cults. The Long Night, a new horror film now available on VOD, decides to try and wedge all three into a single 90-minute production.
It’s not great.
Grace (Scout Taylor-Compton) and Jack (Nolan Gerard Funk) are a young couple heading out for the weekend. They’re due to arrive at a somewhat secluded house as Grace hopes to learn more about her parents. Instead, from the moment they arrive, strange tidings begin to occur. Weird visions, snakes and ritual sacrifices that convince them it’s time to leave.
Only, they can’t. It seems a mysterious cult with an affinity for eccentric headgear has taken up residence outside and things are about to get worse—much worse. It makes for a long night for the couple.
These kind of stories are familiar by now so it’s not about the destination as about the journey, which includes the characters. There are some nice moody shots and moments delivered by director Rich Ragsdale. We also get some cameos from familiar faces like Jeff Fahey and Deborah Kara Unger. But there’s not a lot here that feels original or compelling.
Funk’s Jack fell flat, while Compton is serviceable as Grace. She’s a horror film veteran after taking the lead in the Rob Zombie re-make of Halloween in 2007. But there’s just not enough in the story and character that keeps you hooked. The third act in particular is strange before ending at its limp conclusion.
The Long Night begins with a decent atmospheric setup but it can’t ultimately resolve the shortcoming of its script, which relies on two-dimensional characters and cliches. It becomes just another middling offering in a saturated genre.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.