The first film from writer/director Nicholas Michael Jacobs, Night is about as indie as it gets. A four-character, (only two of which appear on screen), film with the production roles filled by the actors as well. The screener wasn’t hosted on Vimeo or even YouTube but on Google drive. You have to respect that kind of determination, regardless of the final results.
The plot description is, a young girl is kidnapped by a strange man, who forces her to be the star of his sick and twisted live stream. This sets up images of a Hostel type torture film, but that’s not what we get from Night. Adam (Nicholas Michael Jacobs) does indeed kidnap Judy (Gianna Jacobs, Urban Fears, Tales From Six Feet Under) for an underground type
Towards the end, he does get a small pocket knife out, but the effects are limited to fake blood smeared on her arm. Even when he’s supposedly carving his name in her arm there are no bleeding effects, it looks like he’s painting it on her.
The beatings she gets are shot and choreographed so badly it’s obviously faked. Usually, his body is blocking the shot so we never see the blows land. There’s also no makeup work to back it up. She should be bruising, have a broken, or at least bloody nose, black eye, etc. There’s none of that.
What we do get is just over an hour of Adam occasionally reacting to comments posted to his feed, talking to a couple of off-screen folk including a neighbour who thinks she heard a woman scream. He tells her he’s watching a horror movie and that’s the end of it.
I really hate to slag on a film but Night really is bad, even from a technical standpoint. We frequently end up staring at an out of focus, blank wall and hear sound from off-screen. The opening is several minutes of Adam adjusting his mask, obviously drawn out to push the film just over the hour mark, (it runs sixty-five minutes with credits.)
Night will be released to Amazon Prime Video on March 23rd.