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The Long Night Movie Review

The Long Night Movie Review
We open with disquieting images of the New York City landscape - they are well shot, but set a tone that things are just a little bit "off." Something spooky is brewing. Of the city's million stories, we are introduced to one: a young woman in search of her birth parents, and a young man demonstrating his commitment to the woman he loves. Soon they will be headed on a trip that's vaguely described as "down south" and starts with a spooky phone call, a mysterious warning to "Watch out for the snakes," and a jump scare flash-forward to the woman covered in blood and screaming. Yep, it's going to be a "Long Night."

This aptly-named new horror movie is short on scares but long on bromides as it lazily deals out typical Hollywood shorthand to signal its "southern" setting. For instance, the couple's first "southern" pit stop is a broken-down cliché of a gas station with a condescending hick clerk who teases the city slickers while stereotypically spitting "tabakky" in their direction. Thankfully, none of the local patrons are picking a banjo.

"The Long Night" is less successful in telegraphing its intentions as a horror movie. It's eventually going to turn out to be one, of the "ancient-demons-will-rise-up-and-destroy-the-world!" type, but neither our main characters nor the audience will know that for at least an hour. First we have to get past a title card stating "Part 1. The Invitation" that announces that the couple's "southern" journey has ended in arrival at an anachronistically New England style home. It's located in the center of immaculately-kept acreage complete with a new fire pit, but the Hamptons-raised boyfriend - who should recognize that this place is more Connecticut than Kentucky - nervously keeps up the Hollywood scene-setting: "This is the South. They shoot to kill here."

Adding to the "is this a horror movie??" confusion is the interior of the house:  with its expensive furniture, perfect accent pillows, and subtle complementary color palettes it is the stuff of dreams, not nightmares. A few pieces of inconspicuous taxidermy unsettle the arriving urbanites, but on the whole it's more Martha Stewart than Munsters. The entire effect implies a setting for polite drama, not a 400 year old prison for demons - unless it's a prerequisite that guardians of the gates of hell know what shade of robin's egg blue to use on the stairwell transition hallway?

That being said, when "The Long Night" does get around to being a horror movie, most of the scares take place outside on the lawn where, black cloaked figures with skull and antler masks line up and point threateningly at the new tenants. Sometimes for a change of pace they disappear, then show up on the other side of the house to do their threatening pointing. Or even show up inside, doing the same thing.  The threat quickly dwindles from tangible to tedious, with special effects and scary music along the way. Whatever the filmmakers' intentions, this ends up feeling about as compelling and scary as a 1980s heavy metal album cover.

With vague expectations set by additional teasingly ambiguous title chapter cards, each new scary scenario just adds to the collected confusion. Chases and bloody narrow escapes are replaced with flashbacks, flashforwards, and/or dream sequences, many featuring a horny Baphomet looking for some action in the nighttime woods. Characters who could provide story arc connections get close enough to greet each other, but their conversations are muddled with too much background noise for anything to click.

After its leisurely setup, "The Long Night" rushes to explain its backstory with a third act discovery and a couple of last-minute reveals. This information is overly detailed, condensed, and ultimately too much too late - imagine if a Bond villain explained his evil plans during the closing credits. One particular reveal comes in the last ten minutes, just for the purpose of offering even MORE backstory. Things wrap up just in time for a clever-for-its-own-sake ambiguous ending based on plot points revealed only moments before. No wonder this night was so long - nobody involved with this movie knows how to tell time.

The Long Night Movie Review By Les Baird

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Long Night Movie Review The Long Night Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Saturday, February 12, 2022 Rating: 5


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