Welcome to Horribly Hooched’s Macabre Mondays! Today’s feature….Dead of the Nite.
Investigating a supposedly Haunted House, a group of ghost hunters realize they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, and must quickly figure out whats going on or fall victim to whatever lurks in Jericho Manor.
Oh and did I mention it stars the hauntingly talented Tony Todd?! His voice still lurks in my dreams (CANDYLAND? ANYONE?). I’d suggest watching this one with friends as it goddamned FUN (if not a bit dangerous) to drink to.
There’s nothing here we haven’t necessarily seen before. A haunted mansion. A crew of ghost hunters. Night vision cameras, unexplained deaths, and something paranormal going bump in the night. But who doesn’t love a good British horror?
The story hinges around Ruber (played by Tony Todd), caretaker of Jericho Manor, recounting a story about a group of ghost hunters who show up to investigate the killings of Jeffrey Heath, the faceless ghost. The first, and most interesting distinguishing element, is the core group. 3 girls and 2 guys – not a mix you often see in horror.
Things begin to escalate, and our wonderful ghost hunters bust out the Ouija Board.
The tension builds quickly from here on in, like blue balls on a priest at soccer practice. Right about now I’d bust out a bottle of your shittiest vodka (when you hear the phrase ‘use the furniture, touch me’ DO A SHOT). From here on in, I suggest you make your drinks good and stiff.
There’s a few stellar moments of ‘poor choice of words’ that make you immediately cringe. “Do what you want”, “Touch me”, etc.
The story continues to unfold with our detectives attempting to piece together exactly what happened that night – with one of them having an apparent breakdown and throwing all the video evidence around the room because it was out of order. Mm hmm. YUP.
The biggest complaint, I’d wager, would be that while camera’s in night vision don’t project a light…you can still see a light from the display.
The kills come hard and fast, and with the limited number of cast to kill, that makes for a quick escalation to the final conflict.
And oh holy fuck, the ending makes every face palming moment worth it, so stick around. Seriously, M. Night Shyalaman can go kick rocks, S.J. Evans is in charge, and am I fucking pleased about it.
Keep in mind – budget here of $20,000. For what they had to work with, the film was executed well beyond expectations, and at least once I nearly shit myself.
We’re pretty burnt out on found footage. We’re also burnt out on haunted houses and ghost hunters. However, Dead of the Nite brilliantly breaks the mold when we, the viewers, experience the movies through the eyes of the detectives AS they review the footage. Too often we get a a full movie supposedly edited together by…the cops? after they’ve found the footage. It’s always bothered us when its just a brief snippet saying ‘oh btw this footage was found by so and so PD and has yet to be released’ qualifies the premise.
Very, very invigorating to see it through this perspective, with the sound of tapes being changed etc. Adds an element of authenticity that, while a bit distracting at first, actually gets quite immersing. Add on to that brilliant performances by Joseph Millson and Gary Mavers as the detectives, and you’ve got a damn fuckin SOLID base.
Unfortunately, the rest of the cast doesn’t quite stack up in comparison. Doesn’t really matter though, when you’ve got someone like Joseph Millson captaining the ship. His performance made me lock the doors, clean my drawers and seriously consider buying a gun.
In truth, the real story is in the eyes of the detectives, as they have to witness this horrible footage. Seeing their reactions is what makes this a riveting ride, and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
All in all? 2.5/5, 4/10, whatever scale you prefer. If you’ve had a few and are in need of a fun ride, pick this one up from your local redbox. It is ABSOLUTELY worth your time. And if you can call how it ends? Let me know, I’ve got a box of cookies for your prescient ass.
And when I say stick around through the ending, I do mean, ALL the way through.
IMDB for Dead of the Nite