16 April 2024

Film Review – Night’s End (2022)

The latest film from filmmaker Jennifer Reeder revels in its one location setting, bringing to mind the induced isolation of the pandemic. Night’s End is set entirely within the apartment of Ken Barber, a reclusive shut-in who has problems related to alcohol that have caused him to lose both his job and his family. The only people that Ken speaks to are his friend Terry and his ex Kelsey and her new partner over Zoom, all of whom he assures that he is fine though he seems anything but.

Newspapers cover the windows of his apartment, closing out the natural light and leaving him living in gloom and his diet appears to primarily consist of coffee mixed with Pepto-Bismol. Ken refuses to leave the apartment to look for a job and instead has decided that he might be able to generate money making videos online. It is during one of these videos that Terry notices something strange in the background – one of Ken’s stuffed birds fell from a shelf completely of its own accord. After rewatching the video and encouraged by Kelsey and an upsurge in viewing figures, Ken’s videos take a turn toward the supernatural as he investigates what he believes is a haunting in his apartment.

Night’s End mixes a number of horror elements. It is a haunted house film, a film about dealing with your own demons and a film about online horror. These elements work well together for the most part. However by splitting the film between these different parts, it means that no one element feels completely fleshed out. Night’s End begins as a complex character study of Ken but as the film moves into haunted house and online horror territory, Ken becomes less of a focus leaving certain questions unanswered.

Another slightly disquieting detail of Night’s End is the tonal change as the film builds towards its climax. Ken’s isolation and stress made for a quietly dark and thoughtful atmosphere, but as the online based finale takes place, the film takes on a much more hokey approach. This is not a criticism and is fun in and of itself, however some audiences may find it a slightly jarring change.

Bong Joon-ho included Reeder in his list of twenty directors pivotal to the future of cinema and whilst Night’s End doesn’t always come together effectively, it does show that Reeder has solid ideas, is adept at horror and can certainly make audiences jump.

★★★


Horror, Thriller | USA| 2022 |18| 81 mins | 31st March 2022 | SHUDDER| Dir. Jennifer Reeder| Geno Walker, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, Daniel Kyri, Felonious Monk

 


Discover more from

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Did you enjoy? Agree Or Disagree? Leave A Comment

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading