Review: NIGHT OF THE WILD (2015)

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WTF happened to Eric Red? I mean seriously, he wrote classics like Near Dark and The Hitcher. He directed Cohen and Tate and Body Parts. He went from that to being the director of Night Of The Wild. A film from The Asylum that went straight to SyFy and has a 3.0 rating on IMDB? And honestly, that’s a generous rating.

The film opens with horrible CGI of a meteor heading towards earth. It’s part of a meteor shower that leaves glowing green rocks all over the place. These meteorites make the local animals, or at least the dogs, attack any humans they see. And right away we run into one of Night Of The Wild’s many problems, its very muddled script.

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We see what appears to be cows acting oddly and making a weird kind of mooing. Are they sensing hostile dogs or getting ready to attack the farmers? The same with a herd of cats discovered in a tree by some passing girls. It cuts away as they find them. So we’re not sure if they were waiting to attack or hiding from the dogs.

Other plot holes include a dog that’s immune to whatever is going on. It’s speculated that it’s due to its deafness, but it still comes when its owner shouts. Red didn’t write this one, Delondra Mesa (Rise Of The Zombies, Z Nation) did. Since he only directed Night Of The Wild, it’s not fair to give him all the blame. But one would expect that he’d notice things like this and have them taken care of.

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The plot, such as it is, deals with members of a family struggling to find each other and escape from the town before being made into dog chow. Sarah (Kelly Rutherford, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Scream 3 ), her new husband, Dave (Rob Morrow, The Kill Team), his daughters, Rosayln (Tristin Mays, MacGyver, The Vampire Diaries), and little Danielle (Carmen Tonry, Sacrilege) are fighting their way out while the neighbors become kibbles and bits.

There is the odd bit of suspense generated along the way. And some nice bits of carnage from some of the attacks. Unlike many Asylum films, Night Of The Wild used real dogs and practical effects, But several attacks are ruined by sloppy camerawork and editing.

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How sloppy? In more than one scene, it’s obvious the actor is holding the dog to them and pretending to be attacked. In another, it’s obvious the baseball bat is missing the dog it’s supposed to be beating. A bit of judicious editing could have avoided this. And as director of Night Of The Wild, this is his fault. It’s pretty sad to see him make such a rookie mistake. Even the stock footage bear in All Girls Weekend was scarier than this.

Night Of The Wild could have been at least a decent time-waster along the lines of other SyFy films. It could even have been one of their actually good films, like MegaShark vs Giant Octopus or Frankenfish. With somebody with Eric Red’s track record in the director’s chair, it should have been. Instead, it’s sub-par even by these low standards.

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