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Critic Reviews for Nightworld
While subtle, moody horror films can be great, without something solid to coalesce around, eventually the atmosphere dissipates.
Nightworld conjures the spirits of many other stories to tell its own. It's an uncanny amalgam which, though pointedly derivative, to an extent confounds through the sheer multitude of its influences, & takes full advantage of very atmospheric sets.
Audience Reviews for Nightworld
First things first, and this is completely unrelated to the movie, I had no idea that Jeremy London had a twin brother, Jason (who's the lead in this movie). I was like 'oh, it's one of those guys from those 90s teen shows like Party of Five or Felicity'. Then I go to Wikipedia and find nothing on his page in relation to these mid-to-late 90s teen shows. His most high-profile acting gig, to this day, is Dazed and Confused. And I'm like 'something's not right here' and then I find that there's actually two of these London brothers and that I was confusing the more "famous" London for this one. And I say famous in quotation marks, because it's not like Jeremy is a major Hollywood star. He's famous enough for me to know who he is, but not famous enough for me to have ever known he had a twin brother who also acts. This is irrelevant, really, but I guess the lesson is that you learn something new every day. So, Nightworld, what exactly can I say about you? Perhaps the only reason any discerning horror fan would give this a shot is because horror icon Robert Englund is cast here. I've always said that horror fans are the most loyal, because they'll wade through a sea of shit just to find one hidden gem that they may not have ever even heard of. But, in my opinion, one of the only reasons any horror nerd would even give this film a shot is because Mr. Englund is in it. That's the only reason I was even considering watching this in the first place. I might have watched this movie anyway, regardless of whether or not Englund was cast in it, but it probably would have taken me much longer to get around to it. As I mentioned, horror fans will wade through a sea of shit to find a great horror movie. Was this, to me, an undiscovered gem that I plan to tell all of my friends about? In short, no, not at all. The movie is definitely a little derivative, in that it borrows from many other sources, but, conceptually speaking, once it really gets going, I felt that the concept was a relatively solid one. One that, if it hadn't been left unexplored until the last 20 minutes, might have made for a better movie than it ended up being. Former LAPD officer, trying to get away from his past, takes a job in Bulgaria as a security guard. He guards an old abandoned apartment complex. Seems like a simple enough job where he, really, doesn't have to do much. One of the things his superiors stress upon him, though, is that he has to go down to the basement twice a day, to check if there's any strange activity going on in this hangar that's down there. They have some cameras set-up and Brett just has to check the footage to see if something strange happens, the monitors light up when something strange occurs. So the movie deals with the mystery of what's going on in this apartment and what's in the hangar that Martin and Goran, the people who hired him for the job, are so secretive about. Here's the thing, and I get that this is meant to be moody and atmospheric, and there's some scenes where they handle that successfully, but I wasn't really intrigued in the mystery. Brett is a bit of a bland character and Jason London's performance doesn't really inspire anything. He's not bad, he's just not good either. The thing is that I just wasn't really invested in anything that wasn't Robert Englund. Brett meets a woman (he accepted the job to try to get over the death of his wife) and they begin a romantic relationship that I honestly couldn't have cared about. The movie is so shrouded in secrecy and it's not that I'm against a bit of intrigue and mystery in movies. Hell, sometimes the mystery is more satisfying than the actual payoff, right? The point that I'm trying to make is, however, that in this case, it's the other way around. They payoff is infinitely more satisfying than everything that came before it and I was wondering like, why didn't they do the reveal earlier, so they could have spent more time on trying to avoid the eventuality of what's gonna happen. I'm gonna SPOIL it (and this is for RT, since I can put a warning on Letterboxd). Anyway, there's this gatekeeper that guards, well, a gate. There are seven gates in the world and of the seven gatekeepers, the one that lives in this apartment complex in Bulgaria is the last alive. The gate, that's in the hangar, is essentially keeping the dead from crossing over into our world. The dead get stronger the weaker the gatekeeper is. So, naturally, when the gatekeeper dies, the dead start to run amok. And, again, it's not like this is anything unique. In fact, parts of it remind me of the Upside Down from Stranger Things. But I liked this idea so much more than trying to build intrigue and mystery surrounding this complex that it was really perplexing to me why they put it off for so long. Everything is revealed in the last 20 or so minutes, which is when Brett, Jacob (Englund), his friend Alex and Zara go into the hangar to see what's up. And they try to cram, in my opinion, too much in a short time span. The climax is the best part of the film and the ending, with Brett losing everything that was important to him, is a suitably bleak one, but I feel the movie would have been considerably better if, instead of Martin and Goran being secretive about the nature of his job, he had been told right away that he's guarding a gate that keeps the dead out. Naturally, he'll be a bit taken aback by this, but take the job anyway. You can still have the moody and atmospheric moments, but have Brett realize the truth maybe halfway through the film and the rest of it is trying to keep the dead from taking over. That's a more exciting story to me. It doesn't even have to be violent, but I think this gate and the gatekeeper needed to be explored a little more in-depth than just a couple of throwaway lines from Jacob. I don't know, that's just me. I mean I've seen plenty of haunted house movies before, if this can be called one, and this just doesn't offer anything worth watching until the reveal. And even then it's too late to save this movie from complete and utter dullness. Certainly not a bad movie, I found it watchable. But the poor execution of the concept and inconsistent acting held it way back to me. You can certainly do worse, but there's no real reason to watch this movie. Englund deserves better.
Watchable, but poorly delivered and totally derivative.
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