Looking for fun during The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? I’ve got a few ideas this season, and a few clunkers too…
“I’m not Buffy. I’m just…I dunno. Shawna?”
Genre – Modern Day Monster Mash
Splat Factor – Vampires. Victims. Yeah. But most vamps go poof ala BtVS, so the messy stuff is mostly from the humans on the scene.
Year Released – 2021
Where I Watched – Amazon Prime
What it is – Shawna is just killing time during summer vacation in her hometown of New Orleans. But killing gets more than figurative when vampires come to town… And Shawna – along with a handful of her friends – decides to take down the bloodsuckers. Easy, right? Maaaaybe? Grab that garlic powder!
Why Watch This – Night is a ton of vampy goodness, wrapped up in a mix of NOLA cool and Gen-Z savoir faire. Along with the vampire lore and creepy-cool Lost Boys aesthetic, Night touches on colorism, the unhoused, systemic racism, addiction, economic prejudice, and the long reaching after-effects Katrina had on Louisiana. Mixing fun with clear-eyed social commentary? Yes please. Night might get a bit too exposition heavy at the climax, but it’s a small price to pay for such an interesting, enjoyable film that had me spooked, heartsore, and cracking up.
Oh, and did I mention the wonderful Keith David is in this? And he’s fantastic as always. But it’s Asjha Cooper as Shawna who glued me to the screen with her heartfelt performance. Yeah I said heartfelt. In a horror movie. I stand by that. With Night and There’s Someone Inside Your House, here’s hoping this is the year Cooper explodes onto the scene and gets even more attention. She deserves it. And shout out to Fabrizio Guido as Shawna’s BFF Pedro who happens to be gay. Yeah he’s fabulous, and boy can WERK. But he’s more than The Sidekick, and he gets a subplot regarding racial anxiety that blends well with the overall story.
How To Watch – At a well paced but brief 88 minutes, consider this a worthy pairing with Attack The Block, and/or Candyman. These films all have that mix of horror, social commentary, and 21st century coolness perfect for an extended couch session.
Rating – 4 out of 5 pumpkins