What I'm Watching: Dead of the Nite
One of the best found footage movies I've seen is Grave Encounters, about one of those ghost hunting reality tv shows going to an abandoned hospital and trying to capture spooky stuff on camera. Frankly, those ghost hunting shows are the BEST excuse for a found footage movie. It explains the cameras with so little effort, the two are a near perfect match.
Which brings us to Dead of the Nite, which trods the same ground.
And sadly, is not really a match for Grave Encounters.
But I still found myself mostly enjoying it. The plot revoles around some paranormal investigators checking out the legendary Jericho Manor, which is being taken care of by genre star, Tony Todd.
Tony ends up being used to better effect here than he was in Jack the Reaper, thankfully. Still, his part is far too small, and over far too soon. But what's there is good, and easily a highlight of the movie.
The biggest problem of the movie is the pacing. We spend the usual ages of time establishing charaters, and while that usually is good, here it just falls flat. The characters aren't great, the acting is a little stiffer than I'd prefer, and things really don't start clicking and flowing until the movie is almost half over.
They try and get around this by jumping around in time a little bit, as the cops are investigating what happened and watching the footage the victims/suspects took of the manor and their murders, and it just about save the movie by giving it the pace it needs, and early suspense to keep things interesting.
I was almost thrown by the ending of the movie, but it's almost too big of an ask for the audience to buy into the explanation that is given. I like the twist because it was unexpected, but it was unexpected because it's so preposterous! Your mileage may well vary here.
Still, there's some highlights, like Tony, and some good jumps. The acting smooths out a bit as the plot starts clicking, and hey, a crazy twist is still worth noting.
I wouldn't say you need to rush out and see this movie, but in the found footage genre? It's one of the more *consistent* movies out there. So many are great most of the way through, and then completely dive bomb at the end and everything is ruined. Dead of the Nite actually manages to be slightly saved by the ending, and because it's averageish all the way through, it's almost *more* pleasing that way?
It's a weird situation to be sure but there is something to say for a movie not building up your hopes and destroying them at the last second. And hey. Tony Todd is worth seeing almost any movie for, right?
So I guess it's worth a watch, if you've got the time, but no hurry, and don't expect something mindblowingly new!