Skip to main content

DVD Review: As Night Falls (2010/13)

Poor young “Amelia” (Grace Chapman). She was only ten years old when her psycho parents (Michael Ellison, Debbie Rochon) decided she should go to bed…forever.

After killing her, they threw her mangled body in a shallow grave. 50 years later, the poor unfortunate girl has come back to warn the new owners of the property, “Elizabeth” (Deneen “The Playboy Club” Melody) and “Holly” (Lily Cardone) that her parents are coming back from Hell and are going to be killing everyone in sight.

How do those in the land of the living take it? Disbelief, of course, even when they all realize that this ghost girl is, in fact, real. It is, after all, a horror movie where kids who get together for a party one night walk right into a most welcomed slaughter. Would we have it any other way? It’s hard to tell since, on the one hand, the slasher aspects of the film are the result of a carefully used budget; on the other hand, the plot is a piecemeal effort at tying it all together into a story—a story that never even attempts to justify itself. Consequently, we never care all that much for it or anyone in it (except for Rochon, assuming you were already a fan).

Elizabeth’s brother is the sheriff (Davison). The family dynamics come through nicely, but this is really Lily and Elizabeth’s show as they both step into their roles almost as well as Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Kudos to them for that.

As for the zombies, it is ultimately unclear why 50 years gave some rise to undeads getting a chance to come back and start killing (what was the supernatural occasion that made it possible?). If it’s supposed to be part of the comedy, then it’s lost on us. One of the big talking points in lieu of the film’s release is the presence of Canadian B-movie goddess Debbie Rochon as the hell-inspired mother who comes on camera to scream at us while wielding a pitchfork. Yes, along with her tall, undead husband who (like her) won’t stay dead, that’s all we get of her.

The plot, much like the chuckle-worthy ending, makes no sense because it doesn’t ever try to. The obvious ghost effects of Amanda, like something you'd see on a commercial on a YouTube spoof, are not even being counted as troubling as the way director Joe Davison just assumes we are supposed to want to care about this cast on the merits of their wacky antics or the skit humor they keep sadly resurrecting at every opportunity in the name of racking up more screen time. I’ve said before that combining horror and comedy is a delicate art, one not easily mastered by any old goon with $100 and a camcorder.

Canadian actress Debbie Rochon reappears as the
"the mother from Hell" in As Night Falls

Overall, As Night Falls is a rather good blend of badly conceived ideas, this despite some fun music choices, a lively cast, some great cinematography, very nice pacing, and a fine use of its budget. But it neither gives us anything to think about, nor thrills us (or scares us). Because of that, it doesn't even make us wonder why or how any of this could happen since the story doesn’t take itself seriously enough to justify what is happening. It tries to make us laugh, but even that can be a hard sell.

If you are enough of an indie buff and decide to give this a look, as the minutes go by and you are listening to the sounding off of 80s references and friend dynamics at a party, know that you could have just watched the trailer, which is better than the movie itself.


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…