A pair of professional but mismatched criminals break into a house with a dark past that is about to make its presence felt. Their story soon intertwines with two other sinister tall tales.
May 9, 2016
Michael Parle as Mike
Jack Dean-Shepherd as Luke
Claire Blennerhassett as Faustina
Gerard Lough’s anthology Night People is… interesting, to some degree. There’s quite obviously an attempt at crafting a quality, memorable independent film here, but there are some components missing, and they certainly hold the picture back, preventing it from being what it could possibly be. Night People isn’t an outright failure, by any means, but it’s far from a true success story.
What we have is a trio of stories. One of which – the first story told, separated from the wraparound, that is – focuses on the discovery of a strange artifact with some pretty spectacular powers. Of course, those who’ve gotten their hands on this strange relic fail to respect its power, thus finding themselves in a perilous position that may well be irreversible.
The second story also aims high but falls short as we take a look at a young lady who’s tired of living a seedy life. But when she stumbles into a chance to distance herself from the lifestyle she’s grown accustomed to, things head in an unexpected direction. Turns out she may have been better working in “the industry.” It also turns out that this story in particular really, really drags.
As for the wraparound story, it’s interesting and features a pair of burglars who don’t share a whole lot in common, but manage to come together to give viewers something compelling and an interesting dynamic. It’s arguably the most compelling sequence of the flick, in large part because of the characters themselves.
In regards to each of these separate tales, I’ve been a bit vague. There’s a good reason for that. The only genuinely successful aspect of the film comes from the small surprises in store. As previously noted, there’s a lot of potential here, and Lough shows that with some fine-tuning he’s going to do a solid job of crafting feature length pictures in the future. But he still needs some time to develop, and he’s absolutely got to sharpen up his writing skills, as they feel like a major hindrance at times.
The greatest problem the film faces is the general lack of entertainment value. It’s a rather boring film that plays out as one note from beginning to end. There are no highs, there are no lows. There are no shocks or jolts. It’s a very, very flat production. Better screenwriting could have prevented such a curse, but it’s just not there yet. That makes it a very real challenge to sit through the film. It pains me to admit that – honest to God truth – it took me five separate occasions to get through the entire film. I fell asleep the first four times, the first two before I’d even made it deep enough into the film to realize it’s an anthology.
There isn’t a filmmaker out there who wants to hear that his movie put viewers to sleep. But Night People did. It turned me into a night person, feeling far more exhausted than I should, suddenly and desperately in need of a few ‘Z’s’. Sadly, I probably had far more stimulating dreams while the DVD spun away.
Pictures like this are hard to rate. They’re difficult because, as a guy who studies films meticulously, I can completely respect all the effort invested in the production. There’s hard work being put in here. There’s no one sleeping on the job either, even if they did put me to sleep. On the other hand, the problems that accompany the film, are very real problems that can turn a potential viewer off quite quickly. Regardless of all the hard work this crew put into this film, it’s still a dreary picture. I really don’t enjoy saying that, but I’d be a bold faced liar if I told you this one was anywhere near thought-provoking. I’ve never made it a habit to lie to genre followers, and I won’t start now.