Dead Night is a horror film released in 2017. It follows mother Casey Pollock (Brea Grant), who is traveling with her husband James (AJ Bowen), son Jason (Joshua Hoffman), daughter Jessica (Sophie Dalah), and her daughter's friend Becky (Elise Luthman) to a getaway in the woods to help treat James's cancer. In the woods, the family encounter a strange woman named Leslie who proceeds to turn the one of them into a reanimated corpse monster, jump-starting a horrifying series of events.
The film has things in common with the Evil Dead franchise, those being a sharp weapon wielding hero forced to dismember those that they hold dear who have been reanimated as killers to the classic backdrop of a cabin in the woods. It also has its own spin on things with a sinister group utilizing the visitors for their own machinations.
Not to be confused with the similarly titled work Dead of Night.
This work contains examples of:
- Animate Dead: A shard of magic stone to the back of the head will get you animated into a homicidal witch servant just fine.
- Body Horror: The fate which befell the girl in the film's opening. See Screaming Birth below.
- Demonic Head Shake: The first of the family, upon being turned into a monster.
- Don't Go in the Woods: The film takes place in a cabin in the middle of deep dark woods. Unusually, they do have neighbors not too far away albeit useless ones.
- Downer Ending: Jessica, James and Jason are all dead, Casey has been locked away and made subject to a True Crime drama, and Leslie's coven has succeeded in their plans.
- Evil Old Folks: Becky's grandmother is revealed near the end to be a member of a coven of old women working with Leslie and had purposely sent her granddaughter to the cabin for a ritual.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: It's unclear how the girl in the opening was impregnated, but considering what her offspring is, the process was undoubtedly unpleasant.
- Fetus Terrible: What the girl in the opening was giving birth to. Implied to be the film's antagonist.
- Foregone Conclusion: The film will at times segue into a True Crime Mockumentary format, detailing the aftermath of the night the film takes place in. The only thing left ambiguous is Becky's fate.
- Humanoid Abomination: Implied to be the daughter of the person from the opening, Leslie looks like a normal human woman yet can cast illusions, vanish at will and possesses great brute strength as well as having an inhumanly long tongue. She seems to have some grander plan for the world as well, possibly making her the Antichrist or a figure very similar.
- Mystical Pregnancy: The girl in the opening is abducted by the Crones and is impregnated offscreen with a Humanoid Abomination.
- Orifice Invasion: Implied to be the fate of the woman from the young couple in the opening through Leslie's plans for Becky.
- Painful Transformation: In the film's ending, Becky is transformed into a monstrosity, featuring such unpleasantries such as her hair and scalp being pulled out and split, long claws erupting from her hands and extra teeth appearing around her mouth.
- Sackhead Slasher: The creatures roaming the woods all have sacks over their heads, simulating this trope.
- Screaming Birth: The woman in the opening is made to give birth by the things lurking in the woods, screaming along the way as the Fetus Terrible exaggeratedly moves in her uterus as it is being birthed.
- Staking the Loved One: Much like in the above mentioned Evil Dead, a person is forced to dismember their loved ones to free them from an evil force.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: About forty-four minutes into the film, Jessica is killed and reanimated by Leslie without any real warning.
- Terror at Make-Out Point: The film opens with a couple hanging out in the woods inside a car. The man is killed and the woman captured.
- Town with a Dark Secret: More like woods with a dark secret; the cabin is apparently the epicenter of activity from a society of witches who are planning to get one of their own into office, murders and mutilations a means to an end.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Leslie gets the family to bring her into the cabin by feigning injury, then jump-starts the ritual by killing one of the Pollocks.