Well, this is a turn up for the books! A hen party goes out to a house in the middle of nowhere. They have a run in with some local men who are planning a robbery and have some hormones to burn off. There’s a bit of a face off as one of the men, Perry (Travis Hammer), tries to impress one of the women, Tess (Maggie Q), with his military service. Unfortunately he is one upped as Tess has way more combat experience than Perry. This ruffles his feathers more than somewhat which will prove problematic later on. Purely by coincidence, the robbery that is being planned is to be in the house where the girls are staying for the party.
The day goes quite nicely until it gets dark and then Perry and his gang turn up. They are after some money which they think the girls are trying to take from them but the girls have no idea what money they are talking about. It doesn’t take long before it all starts getting murdery. The only things that the girls have in their favour are massive senses of entitlement, the ability to scream very loud, and Tess. It never actually specifies what Tess was in the army but we are lead to believe she was outstanding, if not actually special, forces. Suffice it to say that she seems quite capable in the unarmed combat arena.
You Think You’re Tough
Now, obviously, I can’t say too much about the attrition rate of either side because that would just spoil things but, rest assured, there is plenty of action. But the thing that makes Fear The Night different is that, despite this being an American action film with a body count approaching double figures, there is no shooting! In fact no one seems to have a gun at all. There is a scene where Tess is looking for some guns but they aren’t there. Instead, the killings are done with a variety of other articles: knives, bows and arrows, axes, even a potato peeler! I did notice that one of the distributors was called Quiver. Perhaps if it were Holster Distribution there’d be guns, guns, guns!
So how was Fear The Night? It was a serviceable action thriller. The fight scenes were excellent but that is what I would have expected from the TV incarnation of Nikita! Maggie Q’s Tess is nicely deep and you can believe that she has seen some dark stuff in Iraq. Some of the characters were a wee bit cartoonish. Gang leader Perry is a racist misogynist. Members of his gang are suitably thuggish and specialise in looming. Some of the hens are overly entitled and loud. But none of them are too intrusive. The whole ensemble rub along quite nicely and at least their quirks mean that you can tell them apart as the bodies mount up.
Tough Enough I Guess
Is it perfect? No, but it does have an awful lot going for it. It is a perfect Friday night film with a few tinnies and a pizza. It has enough going on to keep you entertained but the plot is not so convoluted that you need to keep rewinding and checking that you got the last bit right. For me though, the biggest let down was the epilogue. It threw in a lot of last minute questions which never got answered. I’m guessing that was intentional as Fear The Night could have finished before the epilogue and those questions would have still been unanswered.
However, the thing is that those questions would have either been unasked or irrelevant. Obviously I can’t give specific examples but I think the first five minutes of the epilogue could have been cut out and not made any difference to the film’s story. I’d like to keep the very last bit and just cut out the interview scene. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it! And I do think it is worth a watch. I’m a notoriously easy grader especially when it comes to the independent films I see. However, Fear The Night didn’t need any help.
Fear The Night gets a digital release on 25th September 2023.
Move Grade: A
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!