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  • Writer's pictureMr. Pat

Against the Night

Let me tell you, I miss being a freeloader with Netflix. It was so nice sharing that account with just about every member of my large family. While its horror selection wasn't the greatest, there were a lot of good to great ones if you took the time to sift through it. Losing Netflix really cuts my options by a lot. I never take the time to click the reviews on the streaming sites so what they think I'll like is a little wonky. With that in mind, I decided to check out...

Against the Night (2017)

I've always been fascinated by the inside of abandoned buildings. I've always wanted to sneak into one and have a look around but I never really got the chance. Now that I'm in my mid 30's (it's still my mid-30s until I hit 37!) it would be harder to get away with something like that. Law enforcement is more likely to send a teenager on their way with a warning but someone my age would invite a lot more scrutiny. But I digress...

After a night of partying, drinking and a couple's sexcapades getting interrupted, the film student in the group talks them into visiting the abandoned jail in their Philly neighborhood. He wants to set up cameras and do a little ghost-hunting show and capture the whole thing on camera. It's not a bad premise and it starts out interesting. The characters are mostly tropes and the stoned guy is really, really annoying but around each other, they're good. They seem like they're friends and appear real. It's when they branch into smaller groups they all get stupid and annoying.

I was worried that it was going to be another found footage movie, but to my surprise and delight it is a mix between regular and handheld footage. I much prefer that when doing a movie like this. Sometimes it's cool to see things from the character's point of view, but too much of it can be distracting.

The idea of the movie is cool and for the longest time I was enjoying it, but it kind of hits a wall shortly after each smaller group goes off to set up their cameras. While watching I wanted to enjoy it because it looked good with the little budget they had but it was just... boring. There are big stretches where you're supposed to be worried about their safety but it's just "meh."

I'm heading into spoiler territory because I have to be able to talk about what I didn't like. If you don't want this movie ruined, you can skip to the end. Throughout the film, you're led to believe that it's ghosts ruining everyone's time. I was on board. But later in the movie, you find out the prison they're at is a secret meth lab. Which, OK, fine, whatever. It then pulls one of my most hated tropes where the baddies dress up a good guy in their outfits only for them to get killed by their friend. I dislike it because it involves a person casually strolling around for an unknown amount of time dressed like a murderer while doing nothing to remove the outfit.

But that's not the worst part. Eventually, they catch back up to the film student guy and he starts, out of nowhere, going on about how the real murderer is an alien. He makes the jump out of the blue with the flimsiest of reasons. Do you know what the worst part is? He's right. The meth heads were the original killers and then the alien at some point decided to take over and kill everyone because reasons.

The movie also tries to up the tension by making the group suddenly paranoid about everyone but it doesn't land for a couple of reasons; for one, you, the viewer, know the first guy being blamed didn't do it. It goes on for a while to create tension but it goes over like a lead balloon. Then later the movie tries to point the blame at a different member of the group, but you, the viewer, don't care anymore because they already did this song and dance multiple times.

The movie could have been better but it doesn't live up to its potential.

5 Dr. Chainsaws!

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