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"Dead Night" is one of those watches that one does out of sheer time killing and comes out of questioning why they killed time with that. The film is a slurry of horror elements (Don't Go in the Woods, Sackhead Slasher, etc.) that the movie's short time frame does not manage to marry in the slightest. There is too much going on, too clumsily done to bring in Nothing Is Scarier and too vague to leave one in suspense. The antagonist's goals go unknown beyond the current ritual and being elected, which might work for a Humanoid Abomination but instead just left me bored and unable to follow. Trying to go beyond a simple slasher flick, but not having the capacity to do so. I would say the film comes across as misogynistic as well, which again isn't atypical of horror.
The characters in the film are barely fleshed out despite forty minutes of run time being spent before the horror, instead they focus on the Mockumentary segments and an out of nowhere fake political campaign ad to pad the runtime. It's hard to feel the mother's plight when we don't really know her, her husband or her kids.
As for the scares? Going in, the opening scene is rather disturbing — although something unfortunately not uncommon in horror. The gore is okay but there isn't anything special about it. The Painful Transformation ending scene is also not quite fun to look at, albeit still somewhat silly. These things hardly make up for the plot and characters. The aforementioned sackheads are really only there as something spooky to look at while the family goes about the cabin for the first segment of the film and to play a small part in The Reveal, which was lackluster.
Still feel like this might be a movie that some may like, however, and given the number of tropes I was able to extract from it may be worthwhile for the site; it is likely to fade into obscurity as time goes on, and some getting in of that trope filled goodness is a fun scenario.
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