‘Night’ is an hour long ‘Found Footage’ themed horror/thriller movie about a stalker, serial killer and misuse of live streaming. Produced, directed, written and edited by Nicholas Michael Jacobs. Alexis Beacher and Danielle Iannucci are the Executive Producers. Starring: Gianna Jacobs (Judy Stern), Danielle Iannucci (Ms. Biggs), Alexis Beacher (Erica Ashton), and Nicholas Michael Jacobs (Adam Audrey). This review will discuss whether you should watch this movie and some interesting issues explored in this movie.
In the beginning , we see a dark figure preparing for something. Is it for a heist or burglary? We keep wondering… Then, after the suspense of 5 minutes, we get to know that we are seeing things from the perspective of a stalker. Suddenly we see the abduction of the main lead and the real movie starts…
Night’s plot is simple yet has many psychological aspects in it: A young girl is kidnapped by a strange man, who forces her to be the star of his sick and twisted live stream.
We see majority of the movie from the perspective of a camcorder. The outdoor footage in Philadelphia, USA is well shot. It’s the stalker part and makes you realize that mobile phones and headphones make us less aware of the surroundings. So, the situation is realistic. Once inside the stalker’s home, we see his scary movements and also learn some shocking truths about his hobby, his live stream followers and family.
The live stream trend with super chat and other kinds of donations have been on the rise on the platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Many moral aspects of some live streamers have been the talk of the social media. The reason for the things done by the Serial Killer is his weird every night hobby (Thus the movie’s name- ‘Night’) as well as requests made by his followers of the live stream in exchange of ‘money donations’ via the live chat. This movie tries to tell us about the situation of the misuse of live streaming platforms by sick minded people. Also, the necessity of vigilance and moderation of what users actually live streams. The movie has psychological and torture horror aspects near the end. Some parts near the end are very hard to watch but such scenes are balanced by some dialogue and exploration of the mind of Adam Audrey, the stalker. The violence and gore is never excessive though as the movie isn’t about violence but suspense and atmosphere.
The movie deals with a sensitive subject and handles it well near the end without any predictability. Some may ask whether it is necessary to make a movie like this and on this subject. As an art form, yes, a movie like this is necessary to bring awareness about such crimes in the society so that people are not fully defenseless thanks to their mobile phones and the police force also takes notes of possible stalkers. The issue of serial killers has been explored by many shows and movies. Dexter, Hannibal, Silence of the Lambs etc. being some of them and this movie adds the modern ‘live streams’ aspect to it.
The movie’s true horror, like Dexter or The Shining or the Psycho movies, is not ghosts or ghouls but the stalker, Adam Audrey. Found Footage Genre became famous because of the Blair Witch Project and the Paranormal Activity. This movie doesn’t try to create cheap jump scares by adding fake elements and that’s why it is a well made movie. The movie could have been shorter but some black screens with camera adjustments noises and other things help keep the authenticity intact and audience wait eagerly to know what happens next. Some parts can test the patience of the audience but considering this is a found footage movie, the audience should expect the rough and authentic experience.
The movie has been made with low investment of money and does show that it’s possible to make atmospheric horror movies without excessive investment. The right plan and direction is necessary and not just high investment. This adds to the simplicity and authenticity of the movie, which is the basic need for any ‘Found Footage’ genre of movie. Despite being made by a very small crew, the movie feels like a quality product- from the poster to the trailer and the actual movie.
From the start to the end, there is a lack of music, because when you’re recording real life events, there’s basically no background score. This makes even traffic sounds, door creak sound, foot-steps, victim’s efforts to speak when mouth gagged etc. sound effects are very effective in adding to the horror mood.
The stalker is a masked man during the majority of the movie, but Nicholas Michael Jacobs has nailed the movements and body language of a heartless killer like Adam Audrey in the story. His convincing pitch with the victim is also very well done. Gianna Jacobs as Jud Stern, the victim, shines and her performance is well suited for the role. The movie also has voices of Alexis Beacher and Danielle Iannucci (Both of whom are also Executive Producers). They add important story aspects to the movie.
Overall, the movie ‘Night’ is a must watch for any thriller or horror fan not just to see how simplicity can create an atmosphere of suspense and anxiety but also because the subject of live stream misuse is a unique one and watching this will definitely make you think about a lot of things including whether we should keep our eyes glued to the Smartphone when outside…
You can now watch the movie on POV Horror (A Video On Demand Streaming Service on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and web) –POV Horror Page. Also Releasing on Amazon Prime on 23rd March 2019.
Please check out our interview with Mr Nicolas Jacobs, the writer, director and actor of NIGHT. We discuss the idea behind this found footage live stream bizarre film, the challenges faced and what was intended and experimental of how people like myself included thought were missed opportunities. This is Nicholas Jacobs debut film. Here’s the link to the interview conducted by Paul Dulski–
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