An anxious shut-in moves into a haunted apartment, hiring a stranger to perform an exorcism which quickly takes a horrific turn.
Making a really good horror film can be akin to baking a cake. If you’ve just raised an eyebrow and muttered, “WTF” then just bear with me for a second as I explain. It’s all about the ingredients, right? But it’s also the quality of the ingredients and the balancing of the quantities…too much of this and it doesn’t rise, too little of that and you’ve got cake soup. It’s all a precarious balancing act and making a good film is no different. Now, this is the first time I’ve used this analogy but I feel that it is really fitting in this particular case, albeit somewhat unusual.
Ingredient one: The setting. A wonderfully creepy apartment with a lead that has some kind of OCD or similar neurodivergent behaviour—making him an obsessive shut-in with peculiar habits in a creepy old building. Weird guy with weird lifestyle in creepy, old apartment trying to be internet famous. It is both classic and modern and worked beautifully.
Ingredient 2: The acting. Absolutely wowed. I knew none of the cast from previous projects and if I did, I did not recognise any. Nevertheless, Geno Walker (as Ken Barber), did an outstanding job; completely becoming his character and providing us with a tense, manic and mind-bending performance—truly great. While Walker totally carries the film on his shoulders, the supporting cast does a great job as well—especially the best friend, Terry (Felonious Monk). It was an unexpected surprise to have such great acting in indie productions.
Ingredient 3: Production value. Although the current trend of heavy blue tones appears once again in Night’s End, as it has done in most films I’ve reviewed in the last few months, everything else was above par. I won’t go so far as to say that the editing was brilliant, the score unique, or the shots incredibly creative, but it was all of a decent calibre and added to the film’s quality rather than detract from it. Standard fare—or perhaps simple self-raising flour.
Ingredient 4: The sweet, sweet horror. Now, If you’ve read anything I’ve reviewed before, you would know that I am no fan of the jump scare or the overused gimmicks of modern horror flicks. I flat out avoid anything in The Conjuring universe for these exact reasons. It’s boring, predictable, and incredibly blasé. Night’s End took a few liberties with a jump scare here and a slamming door there, but they added to the narrative and were part of the plot rather than the focus of the film, so this one definitely gets a pass. There was a genuine mystery with some clever twists and turns, an original plot and some kooky characters all beaten together with a healthy helping of horror and tablespoons of tension. It was—more importantly—fun.
Ingredient 5: The icing on the cake. I’m really glad that I went with this whole baking analogy as I usually write down my thoughts and do draft reviews as I watch films in real-time and the final act just…well…takes the cake. I also refuse to apologize for that last sentence. What will definitely not be pleasing to the palette of all viewers, Night’s End closes with an all-out, CG fueled, Clive Barker style WTF conclusion that is really different from the earlier tones and perceived expectations. It’s hilariously good, but that is a very subjective statement and it’s definitely going to be a love it or hate it reaction by viewers but I’m always a “love it” kinda guy when directors take risks and go all out. This is all out balls out and I’m absolutely on board with the crazy train finale.
Overall, I really enjoyed the film and found it very watchable and exceptionally fun. Geno Walker’s Ken was fantastic and I’d absolutely suggest that you give it a watch but only if you enjoy indie horrors that really just go for broke and don’t take themselves too seriously. We have a short clip that I will post below, along with the new poster, artwork, and trailer. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.