We have another pandemic slasher to look at, peeps. And this film, Alone At Night, unfortunately breaks the streak of good-to-decent surprises that January has surprisingly given us…..at least until Infinity Pool comes.
But in all seriousness, this was insipidly empty.
Normally, with slasher movies, there isn’t exactly a grand story at play to tie everything together; it’s mostly focused on the killings and the spectacle of said killings and all they need is an excuse to drive it forward. Here, it becomes apparent pretty early on that the film either doesn’t want to commit to being a horror film or doesn’t know how; for a film made to be in the same self-aware, meta-style of the Scream movies, the end results Jimmy Giannopoulos was looking for is deflating and embarrassingly barren.
What’s presented to us is a small-scale endeavor so the story doesn’t try to be anything more than what it promises but even what it tries to set up has little to no payoff, especially since the writing can’t pick a damn tone and stick with it, juggling a slasher, thriller and half-baked mystery to middling results. Not that it matters since the story is largely inconsequential with three separate patches of filler that hardly offer any sense of direction or atmosphere to help set the mood. There appears to be some commentary on the nature of Incel’s, deception of the webcam industry and the emptiness of fame that comes with it but those themes don’t get fleshed out nearly enough to warrant any genuine emotion. A few hints of some grander concept can be sensed but the film can’t pull itself away from drowning us in cheap thrills and formulaic material enough to delve deeper into its inclusive yet nonexistent drivel.
And yes, its scares are shit and the kills? Unexceptionally substandard.
90 minutes is the best they could stretch the runtime out for, yet they keep inventing reasons to spin its wheels for minutes at a time and I’m convinced every other technical and production outlet is in the same boat. Look, the cinematography and editing are one thing: amateur editing coupled with the usual nauseating shaky-cam and dysfunctional aspect ratio is expected.
But then you have the production design not really using its setting to accustom the payoff it tries to have, awkward musical scores, the most embarrassingly minute attempts at comedy yet, aggressively mediocre dialogue and a structure that strives on repetition and boredom to, again, fill out the runtime and almost nothing else. 85 percent of this film is just padding the campaign out with dead air; I’m convinced these guys were making it up on the fly and when you consider the the original title of the film was 18 & Over and it got changed AT THE LAST MINUTE…..really makes you think, doesn’t it?
Ashley Benson and Luis Guzman are the only two actors involved who try to elevate the material the best they can; however, they can’t mask the stench the rest of these performers leave on this movie.
So just to recap, we have a film that’s too dumb to be clever, too aimless to have any forward momentum and too slipshod to commit to any single idea it wants to flesh out. Can’t say I’m entirely surprised but keep this in mind: I coughed up 7 dollars to rent this one. That’s 7 dollars too many.