By Mollie Campbell
Movie: By Night’s End
Director: Walker Whited
Cast: Michelle Rose, Kurt Yue
By Night’s End is a classic crime thriller, a haunted couple being blackmailed and threatened by criminals looking for something of value in their house. But as the movie goes on, we realise how deep these seemingly one dimensional characters are, the emotional relatability they possess, and just how far a journey they are headed on, outside of the frightening situation they find themselves in.
The movie opens with a seemingly normal couple, despite money and employment issues they are mostly happy. Straight away, things aren’t right…there is this strange orange background light that reoccurs at many times within the movie, which is synonymous with war, dust, bombs, dystopia and gives a naturally apocalyptic feeling, which really hooks the audience onto this perception of dread throughout. The music immediately sets the vibe of the film within the opening scenes with its 90’s style thriller tones initiating this perpetual notion of uneasiness. When things start to take a natural turn in the wrong direction, the characters start to act in ways that shock each other, I was very impressed by Heather’s (Michelle Rose) reactions to her husband’s (Kurt Yue) actions and how taken aback she is by the whole situation.
As the movie goes on we see different sides of the characters and their relationship, and we begin to realise that this is more than just a bad break-in gone wrong, much more emotional baggage is shed on this wild night of intensity. Again we see the re-appearance of the orange light that seems to be following Heather around, especially at times in which the character is scared or doing something particularly reckless, which seems to be a common pattern as she is pulled further into this twisted nightmare. As the ordeal continues, both characters start to make surreal choices, each of them shocking and affecting the other, and showing the audience how humans can react in situations of sheer terror and desperation. As the plot heats up, we are given more of an insight into their relationship…instead of bringing out the truth in the bad guys and escaping, everything that unfolds only acts as a catalyst in bringing out the hidden dark truths in each other. This time the orange represents the heat from the tense and truthful conversations they start having with one another…heating up their own emotions as opposed to sparking up a plan to get out of there.
A touching moment stuck with me and for the first time I truly felt the two main characters connect in a way they hadn’t before, it is tender and full of sentiment, bringing them closer together at a time in which their very world could be right on the cusp of shattering. This all unfolds in a nice little juxtaposition that acts as a useful stimulus in terms of capturing the viewer’s emotions and prompting them to believe in the characters sentiment and intentions.
There are many other little nuances that really add to the tone of the film, a small box of children’s toys that Heather manages to extract peace from in such a tumultuous time is an example of how the movie’s undertones have managed to make an impact. The only negative I have is that sometimes these undertones turn into overtones that take a bit too much attention away from the external threat. But it certainly doesn’t get subdued completely…if anything it makes the viewer even more anxious for the wellbeing of the characters due to what these sub-plots reveal. It does manage to highlight other issues without becoming totally disconnected, which is always a danger when switching to topics that delve deeper than the context of the originally perceived storyline.
The two main stars do the story justice with their truthful representations of two people battling inner demons; we watch them finally work as a team to partly rid themselves of these demons, save the day and their relationship. The camera work is great, the music complimentary of a unique thriller and the sub-plots add extra layers of substance. All in all, I really enjoyed this movie and would definitely recommend you giving it a watch.
DarkCoast will release ‘By Night’s End’ on October 6th onto various digital platforms (Amazon, iTunes, DirecTV, FlixFling, GooglePlay, Vudu and AT&T).
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