I am always on the lookout for something spooky to watch and like many out there I love finding little unknown gems. I was hopeful that Dead of the Nite would be one such gem, knowing that Tony Todd was in it.
The film picks up the day after a ghost hunting expedition goes horribly wrong the night before at the famed English Jericho Manor. Police detectives Anderson and Jenkins head the investigation into what went wrong and caused the deaths of the ghost hunting team and small production crew. The only man who seems to have any answers is Mr. Ruber (Tony Todd), the grounds-keeper of the mansion, but the police don’t get much out of him.
Using both steady-cam and “found-footage” style film making to tell the story of the doomed expedition, it allowed for a nice change-up in the action throughout the movie. The acting was nothing great, but it wasn’t abysmal either; pretty much what you’d expect from a production that cost approximately twenty thousand dollars. And of course Tony Todd brought his own style to the film, which gave it a little nudge in the right direction…but not enough.
Overall the film has an interesting way of going back and forth between supernatural and slasher genres that I liked, but mostly the film bored me. The plot and ideas were there, but the execution was lacking. The editing was a mess, a lot of scenes were too dark to know what was going on, etc. It ended up being a hodge podge of stuff you have seen a thousand times. The team uses a Ouija board, run into each other screaming in the dark, they have a useless “psychic” with them and of course the skeptics that don’t want to be there for anything other than a paycheck. Tony Todd was severely under-used even with a great character introduction and what looked like a major role. I expected him to have one or two scenes, but was teased into believing it would be something more after the start of the film (Don’t let them fool you!).
I did thoroughly enjoy the opening credits sequence. It was animated and fun to watch. It was a sort of mix between the opening sequence in the original Night of the Demons and a cheap Bond intro, but I dug it. Definitely a highlight of the movie. I wish the rest of the movie could’ve kept me as intrigued.
There were some twists and turns to the plot that I was not expecting, mostly due to knowing almost nothing about the film beforehand, but very little about this movie struck me as great. My biggest complaints are definitely the weak scares and the even weaker (and nearly bloodless) kills. Dead of the Nite was o.k. at best, just barely worth a rental.
Dead of the Nite stars Joseph Millson, Cicely Tennant and Tony Todd and was directed by S.J. Evans. It was released on dvd January 7, 2014. It is available for purchase, but is not yet available through Netflix or Redbox. I recommend waiting for the opportunity to rent because it is definitely not worth a buy.