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AGAINST THE NIGHT (2017)
Directed by Brian Cavallaro
Written by Brian Cavallaro
Starring Frank Whaley, Tim Torre, Hannah Kleeman, Luke Persiani, Erik Kochenberger, Amy Zenone, Nicole Souza, Leah Holleran, Yesenia Linares, Josh Cahn
Find out more about this film here, @againstthenightfilm, and on Facebook here
Familiar territory is spiced up a bit by some swift action, unpredictable scares, and dense atmosphere in AGAINST THE NIGHT, a film which splices found footage first person POV with cinematically shot scenes with decent results.
A group of friends are convinced by their filmmaking buddy to venture into a prison that is said to be abandoned and haunted. Once inside, the kids find themselves locked in separate cell blocks and tormented by mysterious people/apparitions/creatures who seemingly appear and disappear in the darkness. As the kids start dropping, the kids uncover a meth lab and other bizarre things going on in the prison.
We’ve seen this song and dance many times before, but the mixture of meth, monsters, and a creepy prison worked for me. Maybe it’s because I worked on a ghosthunting show in my twenties and the Mansfield Prison (where THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION was filmed) was one of the locales of the shoot. Seeing these kids walk past the prison cells, not knowing if something was inside and ready to leap out, brought back vivid and fun memories of working on that show. So maybe this is just a film that struck the right nostalgic chord with me. Still, it captures that chilling feeling of wandering around in pitch blackness extremely well. Whatever it is, this is a nicely atmospheric film that takes advantage of the darkness to really amplify the scares.
Some of the actors are annoying, but you get some decent nudity and a few gory kills. AGAINST THE NIGHT is no barn burner, but it is adept at doling out the scares and is structed in a manner that is less annoying than most films that mix found footage with cinematically shot scenes.