You remember putting off your homework ‘till the last minute before rushing it out the door to turn in a short, hastily scribbled piece of trash? I could not think of a better analogy for The Long Night.
The biggest pisser in this gathering is the utterly inane and yet deeply confusing filler plot with a premise that immediately shits the bed after a promising start, leaving the story with almost nowhere to go beyond the cliched filings that help solidify a typical cult movie. Now I’m sure writers Robert Sheppe and Mark Young had an interesting tale for director Richard Ragsdale to explore; me personally, there are about a few proper ingredients highlighted that I could’ve seen being broadened out to create a more interesting story but between the plot threads that drop out of nowhere to pad out the runtime, tepid, baseless dialogue that feels ripped straight out of a Dummie’s How To catalog, the production design barely doing anything with its setting to accustom the inevitable payoff despite its sturdy-looking backdrops and a foundation that makes makes little effort to broaden out the worldbuilding or supplement its tropes rather than rely on them, the indelible mess it causes is a mess of its own making.
Being inspired by Get Out and Midsommar meant this plot was going to get derivative at some point and I wouldn’t have minded this, if there was any collective degree of tension or suspense that sold the narrative bones of the story in favor of a more presentable scale and if the ensemble of characters weren’t left with the single, interchangeable personality of cardboard who’s mouth you want to staple shut. Music is repetitive and boring, there’s a complete lack of energy to anything with absolutely no sense of humor regarding itself and with so many scenes repeated ad nauseam with too many annoying edits to count, that’s where you’re really gonna feel the film stretch itself out too thin.
The decent cache of ideas in the beginning were decent eyebrow raisers just for the appearance of some potentially interesting threads of hidden exposition that never get used, Rich Ragsdale does succeeds in creating some foreboding sense of atmosphere to the proceedings and Scout Taylor Compton is FAR GREATER than the material she was given and even she hardly elevates beyond the subpar script she or anybody else was given.
Not even 10 days into February, I have found YET another candidate for Worst Film of the Year and this may be a no-brainer for a long while. The Long Night doesn't work as part of the Cult/Death Cult/Demonic cult sub-genre and it wouldn't make even the passing horror fan happy, so who was this film aiming to please?