What I'm Watching: Mischief Night (2014)
Jumping from Memorial Day to almost-Halloween, I thought I'd give my thoughts on the freshly released Mischief Night!
Now, when trying to find information on this movie, I discovered there's like...a dozen of them with the same title. And nearly FOUR of them in the last year. So if you want to find stuff out about it beyond my words, Here is the IMDB page, and Here is the trailer.
Mischief Night is, as most of us surely know, the night before Halloween, which has taken over a lot of the pranking on that night. Some other movies...er, cultures call it Devil's Night, but it's all the same thing.
Here, we have a young girl, Kaylie, who is babysitting for a family to help out a friend, and has to deal with the usual batch of naughty teens. And then Malcolm McDowell arrives at her front door to warn her to be careful and not open the door for any strangers.
She promptly ignores that advice and ends up being the victim of a masked home invader, and ends up getting chased, attacked, and tied up.
Now. I know what you're thinking.
Jason! you say. Jason, we've seen this movie a hundred times before!
And you are correct. But here's the thing. All that? All the usual stuff? Takes place in the first act. The first 30 minutes get through everything you expect from that plot.
And then things get interesting.
The second act was just... It was SUCH a delightful surprise, because I was realising, as Kaylie was being tied up in the chair, just how little movie there had been, and this was usually the point where the movie was wrapping up. I was wondering where the movie would go from here, and it did NOT disappoint.
See, Kaylie is a little disturbed, and she starts to freak out her captor. This whole thing didn't go as planned, and he's got a headache from a few dozen vases getting smashed in his mask. So he decides to screw this and go home. He frees Kaylie and is about to leave when the pranksters return, stopping his escape short.
He watches as Kaylie shows her own mischievous side as she gets her revenge on the pranksters. He gets this GREAT look of "Dude, this chick is more screwed up than me, and I'm wearing a cheap Michael Meyers knock off mask!" on his face for a good solid five minutes as he watches his former captive go about her fun.
It was at this point, as the pair start to actually bond, that I got a huge grin on my face, asking out loud, "Are...are they actually flirting?!" The movie swerves wildly in the second act and actually becomes the single most bizarre and most awesome horror love story I have ever seen.
And it was a joy to behold. The chemistry was decent, the mischief they made was fun, and it was just such a surprise that I was totally along for the ride because this was a truly unique experience.
I was legit nervous that the third act wasn't going to live up to the promises of the second act, and the movie would fizzle, but oh no! I should have had no fear! The movie continues to surprise in the final 30 minutes continues to deliver on surprises as things get back on the horror track and get weird and a little disturbing.
Those final surprises may not have been the most surprising turns of events, but they still kept things lively and flowed out of previous events perfectly. That's part of WHY they weren't surprises, but they were executed well. Pun most definitely intended.
And no. I will not spoil those final twists. I have already spoiled too much of this movie, but I had to give the readers something to explain my feelings for this movie.
I absolutely adored Mischief Night. It was the single most enjoyable experience of a little indie movie I have had in a VERY long time. Any horror fan has got to see this movie for a unique story that just has not been told, and is told fairly well.
You get the usual pitfalls of a lower budget flick like this. The acting isn't great at times (But I have zero problems with it) and McDowell was ultimately wasted in a bit part that he was still great fun to watch, though.
I cannot reccommend this movie enough. It started off okay, and then just kept surprising and pleasing me, leaving me with the biggest grin on my face for having given this a chance.
So here's to Mischief Night, my new favourite holiday movie.