Tuesday, April 05, 2022

The Long Night, on DVD

Evil things happened on this plot of Southern land, even before it became a plantation. The owner reached out to Grace Covington, who has long sought answers regarding her unknown mother. The truth she learns will be pretty darned bad in Rich Ragsdale’s The Long Night, which releases today on DVD and BluRay.

Covington grew up in foster care, so she always yearned to learn who her real parents were. Even meeting her boyfriend Jack Cabot’s nasty rich Hamptons parents cannot dampen her need for answers. Frank Caldwell claimed to have information, so he invited Covington out to his remote plantation-style home. Weirdly, Caldwell is missing when they arrive, but as night falls, a weird pagan-like group encircles the house. They are not just your average goat-skull-wearing death cult. To some extent, they also seem to have supernatural powers.

Long Night shapes up like a largely conventional cult-horror movie, in the tradition of Jackals, but the cult’s backstory is unusually creepy, in evocative and archetypal ways. That also raises the stakes considerably.

Scout Taylor-Compton and Nolan Gerard Funk are both fine as the terrorized couple, but all they really get to do is run for their lives and yell at each other. Arguably, their bickering drags on a little too far into the crisis, but they are still at, or above, horror movie industry-grade, for victims lured to remote locations.

Reliable as ever, Jeff Fahey adds some nice energy and attitude as Wayne Caldwell, who is either part of the sinister business or a guy in the absolute-worst-place-at-the-worst-time, ever. However, the suspicious-acting passive-aggressive locals seen on the drive-in constitute unnecessary piling-on the South.

The plantation house definitely looks creepy and ominously isolated. Ragsdale has all kinds of atmosphere and bad vibes going on. In terms of narrative,
Long Night is pretty straight forward and a bit predictable, but it is definitely scary—and that is the most important thing. Recommended as meat-and-potatoes for horror fans, The Long Night releases today (4/5) on DVD and BluRay.