Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
Plot: An Iranian couple becomes trapped in a hotel in Los Angeles and are forced to confront their demons.
Background: The Night is a co-production between Iran and the US and is the first American-made film approved for commercial exhibition in Iran since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. It has been acquired by IFC Midnight and was released in January of this year.
Review: The Night is a psychological horror thriller that involves the demons of one’s mind created by guilt. Married couple Babak Naderi (Shahab Hosseini) and Neda Naderi (Niousha Jafarian) have an extremely flawed relationship. This is apparent from the beginning of the film and the unspoken rift between the two. Babak’s mood becomes increasingly irritable due to a sudden toothache, and he is clearly an extremely stubborn man. After leaving their friends’ house they become lost on the way home when their GPS malfunctions and this makes Neda especially concerned as they have their baby daughter with them. This leads them to the Hotel Normandie which sets the tone for rest of the film.
The historical features and general ambience of the hotel, complete with your resident creepy concierge at the front desk, are enough to remind you of the Stanley Kubrick classic The Shining (1980). The film ventures into the cerebral and atmospheric genre with the director’s use of a solid amount of genuine jump scares, as well as the smart use of lighting combined with menacing shadows.
The couple’s relationship is further tested through a series of unexplained events that play with the minds of the characters and the audience. It soon becomes apparent that both parties are harbouring dark secrets from each other which is represented by them being haunted by their own forms of inner demons.
The entire film is a metaphor for the guilt that is created from keeping disturbing secrets in a marriage. It will always come to light one way or another, and when it does it can have extremely damaging results with harsh consequences.
The film does drag at certain intervals and takes a bit long to get to the point, but the pace ramps back up in the last act and is guaranteed to shock the audience with its final outcome.
Although The Night is far from perfect, what it lacks in story development it makes up for in the strong performances of Hosseini and Jafarian, combined with the intense atmosphere of something dark and foreboding.
Dark Alice’s Score: 6 out of 10
For Horror Head Writer Sommer’s review of Iranian vampire film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night you can click here. And for more than 180 horror film and TV reviews and lists from Redmangoreviews you can click here.
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.