There seems to be an art to good horror films, and while there are a lot of attempts to make one that fans will love – a lot of movies fail along the way. Unfortunately, a new addition to one that just doesn’t quite make the list of films that people will flock to is The Long Night. This new release is being released this weekend by Go Well USA Entertainment.
Now the movie has a relatively interesting premise – a girl trying to reconnect with her family and her past, but this is hardly original. Instead, it beings the long list of tropes the movie falls into. Grace and her boyfriend head down south to find out more about her birth family, with the invitation from a private investigator to stay at his home. That should have been the first red flag for a couple from New York City, but instead after a bad weekend at her boyfriend’s parents home (that is only mentioned and never shown on screen) the couple quickly falls into the trap of a group of people who want Grace for a whole different reason.
The relationship between Grace and Jack is set up as one filled with red flags before they even start. It seems like while they’re doing this trip so Grace can find out her past, he is only going along to appease her but isn’t really committed to it. It’s a very surface-level relationship and one that isn’t very well developed. There are parts of their relationship that come up when it’s appropriate to move the plot forward. One example is that Jack went to Catholic school, so he obviously can read this letter found in Latin. Not only can Jack read this letter but is fluent enough to translate it completely. Unless Jack went to a school that only taught and spoke Latin, this is not only highly unlikely but is used to completely push the story forward (sort of). This fact is dropped in just when it is convenient and quickly forgotten after it is used.
This isn’t the only trope the movie falls into, of course, we have the cell phone service being bad where they are, cars not starting, and the cult that is after Grace. There really isn’t enough about the cult that makes you really fear them. There are some moments that Grace seems possessed or even drawn to the cult or the activity going on – but the connection between her and them isn’t explained enough for the viewer to really care. It keeps hinting at a connection but, much like her relationship with Jack, this isn’t developed more than on the surface.
Yes, the movie has some interesting parts, but in this age of horror movies, it’s simply not well developed. It seems like while it had a decent outline the story wasn’t expanded into something beyond the basic tropes you can see in hundreds of other low-ranking horror films. If it had potential, it was lost somewhere on the cutting room floor. The movie seems to be devoid of scare, thrills or even anything other than a top-level idea of what a horror movie should have.
The Long Night will be in select theaters on Friday, and maybe an in-theater viewing of the movie will be a different experience. At home, The Long Night seems to be lacking and relies a bit too much on the tropes of horror movies past to try to make a lackluster story come to the screen.
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About The Long Night:
While searching for the parents she’s never known, New York transplant Grace (Scout Taylor-Compton) returns to her childhood southern stomping grounds with her boyfriend (Nolan Gerard Funk) to investigate a promising lead on her family’s whereabouts. Upon arrival, the couple’s weekend takes a bizarre, terrifying turn as a nightmarish cult and their maniacal leader terrorize the pair en route to fulfilling a twisted ancient apocalyptic prophecy.