#horror – #horrormovies – #horrorreviews – #ByNightsEnd –
Director: Walker Whited
Writers: Sean McCane, Walker Whited
Starring: Michelle Rose, Kurt Yue, Michael Aaron Milligan
Just to clear things up a bit right off the bat: By Night’s End is not a horror film. This isn’t a negative because it was actually a pretty good movie. That being said, this is a pretty straightforward home invasion thriller. Don’t expect there to be any supernatural boogeymen, vampires, zombies or a tremendous amount of gore. Instead, go into this movie expecting a stylish nail biter.
We kick this one off with the image of a house followed by a severely injured man being chased and subsequently arrested by the police. 2 months later, Mark and Heather are shown unpacking inside the same house. During their typical banter about promotions and a possible scandal at work, it is revealed to the audience that they had a daughter who passed away and that Heather was a military sergeant.
Later that night in bed, Heather hears sounds in the house and goes to investigate. Outside, a man emerges from a crawlspace under the house and disappears moments before Heather arrives. While Heather is looking around under the house, she hears a commotion upstairs between Mark and another male.
This next part of the movie is a serious demonstration of some kind of Annie Oakley level marksmanship. Heather takes aim on the floorboards above her and shoots Mark’s assailant blindly through the floor. No big deal; just shooting the bad guy from the crawlspace. Mark will be ok. Go Heather.
Anyway, Heather goes back inside to check on Mark, where the intruder decides that now is the best time to pull a gun on Heather. This proves not to be the best idea. She did already shoot him through the floorboards and all. So Heather quickly finishes the job.
Left with a body in the house, Mark and Heather now face a dilemma. Do they call the police immediately and report the break-in/shooting? Or do they wait an hour and try to locate what their new guest was looking for AND THEN call the police? “CSI” does not exist in this universe.
After looking for an hour, they decide to search the body. Finding a walkie-talkie, they turn it on and are greeted by the story’s main antagonist. My best description of the person belonging to the voice at the other end of this conversation is a guy who decided a long time ago to solely aspire to being a more psychotic version of Guido from Risky Business. After this introduction, the movie unravels in a cat-and-mouse type of ping pong match that keeps you guessing most of the time.
By Night’s End had a very realistic approach to it, albeit there were some moments (as mentioned above) that required minor suspension of disbelief. In addition to good acting on the behalf of all, the crew did a good job capturing the feel of this situation. During the second half of the movie, there is one long continuous single shot that was so smooth that definitely caught my attention. Rounding it out is a score that just keeps edging you along until the end.
My only major qualm with this movie is, in fact, the end. Without spoiling things too much, there’s room for a sequel. Or the movie just fades with what seems like a minor resolution. Regardless, By Night’s End will keep your attention with a well thought back story and accurate portrayal.