You know when you watch a movie that just has you on the edge of your seat the whole time? A movie that has you laughing until your cheeks hurt or with your jaw to the floor at how INSANE the special effects are? Or simply a movie that widens your eyes at how innovative the storyline is? Well if you answered in an affirmative manner to any of these questions, you’re gonna wanna pass on the miserably disappointing “The Night Watchmen” which made its Canadian premiere at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival.
Ken (Ken Arnold; “Men in Black 3,” Netflix’s “House of Cards”), Jiggetts (Kevin Jiggetts; “Won’t Back Down,” “One Penny”) and Luca (Dan DeLuca; “Crazy Eights,” “Rocket Science”) are night watchmen at a warehouse, welcoming the new guy, Rajeeve (Max Gray Wilbur; Rajeeve’s not really his name, though. They gave him the former employee’s old outfit and it still had his nametag, so the name stuck) to the crew. As usual, it’s always awkward trying to accustom yourself to a new occupation, especially when the established squad is giving you a hard time. It’s even more difficult when a coffin, which was delivered to the wrong address, contains the corpse of Blimpo, the town’s famous clown, who died under mysterious circumstances in Romania with the rest of his clown posse. Rajeeve’s first night on the job will be a hellacious one as Blimpo rises from the dead, bearing fangs, and overruns the warehouse along with his circus of vampires, ferciously craving warm blood.
“The Night Watchmen,” although presenting a promising trailer, falls flat on so many aspects. First off, the humor is awkward, at best. Attempts at being comical unfortunately result in failure most of the time. I cracked a smile once; twice at best, despite the numerous efforts of making the audience laugh. Very few hits, too many misses. A mix of horrible dialogue and awful directing. I kept my expectations low for director Mitchell Altieri who wrote and directed “Holy Ghost People” (2013) in addition to co-writing and co-directing “The Violent Kind” (2010) and “April Fool’s Day” (2008); all films that I truly despised. Unfortunately, I was still disappointed.
Despite displaying average, yet seldom, practical special effects, they are horrendously overshadowed by unoriginal make-up effects and under-average CGI that will make you sigh in boredom and “déja-vu.” In addition to this, and more importantly, none of the cast members are appealing or deliver hilarious, credible performances. Furthermore, the scenario is often very predictable as well as containing numerous unexplained loopholes that’ll make you squint your eyes in confusion.
Mildly enjoyable with a lot of alcohol and some open-minded buddies, “The Night Watchmen” is easily avoidable and seemed interminable despite its short 80 minutes. It receives 2.5 stars out of 5, and I’m being generous.