NIGHT AT THE EAGLE INN (2021)
Directed by Erik Bloomquist.
Written by Erik Bloomquist, Carson Bloomquist.
Starring Amelia Dudley, Taylor Turner, Greg Schweers, Beau Minniear, Erik Bloomquist, Jeffrey Fryer, Madeleine Dauer, Charles Rosenay, Bill Salvatore
Fraternal twins Sarah and Spencer (played by Amelia Dudley and Taylor Turner, respectively) decide to investigate their parents’ deaths which leads them to a hotel where the twins were born called the Eagle Inn. Once they arrive, they meet a nervous, but friendly manager (played by Greg Schweers) and the aloof handyman Dean (played by Beau Minniear). After taking a tour of the grounds, they decide to do some investigating around the hotel and begin to find strange occurrences in the various rooms, TV’s playing desperate messages from what looks to be inside the hotel, and clues to their parents’ final hours. But finding this information out comes with a price.
NIGHT AT THE EAGLE INN is a smartly and endearingly written little tale that feels ripped straight from a TWILIGHT ZONE episode. In fact, they even mention the episode in which it is reminiscent of in the film itself. The script feels really natural and isn’t overly written or trying to be overtly clever or funny. It just is on it’s own, mainly because the pace keeps chugging along frantically and the actors putting this whole descent into madness on are extremely talented.
All of the cast really work in their respective roles. Amelia Dudley plays an extremely damaged young woman with Sarah, dependent on pills and seemingly lost without the support of her brother Spencer. Taylor Turner is himself quite charismatic as Spencer, providing some comic relief and sarcasm, but still able to convey the damage her has suffered through the years growing up without parents and protecting his more fragile sister in the process. Rounding out the cast are a pair of performances worth mentioning. Greg Schweers is great as the certifiably insane manager who can’t seem to wipe a giant Joker-like smile from his face. I also really dug the comfortably cool performance of Beau Minniear as Dean the handyman. None of the strange twists and turns of this film would have worked without these actors behind it all.
Coming in at just shy of an hour and ten minutes, NIGHT AT THE EAGLE INN is a breezy little film that begin and ends abruptly yet tells a tale that feels complete and hauntingly satisfying once the credits roll. While it does feel more like an extended short film, I think the subtle and emotionally-tied horrors are effective and don’t go for the usual jump scare format of recent horror films. NIGHT AT THE EAGLE INN is a quick and moody bit of off kilter cinema that shouldn’t be overlooked.