Starring Michael Parle, Jack Dean-Shepard, Claire Blennerhasset
Directed by Gerard Lough
Straight out of Ireland comes Night People, a creative little anthology piece that manages to entertain as well as provide some genuine thrills from the performances within.
Director Gerard Lough (also the film’s writer), who before this had only done work on short films, now takes the leap from the high-dive into the full-length feature pool with a nice twist on the whole sectional-story premise. Our storytellers are a couple of professional crooks who, at the film’s onset, are discussing a number of topics while they’re waiting to get the all-clear for permission to blaze the house that they’ve successfully managed to burgle. It works well simply for the fact that it’s used as a nice lead-in to the two connecting tales, minus a creepy little host or uppity snob sitting in a velvet-backed chair reading from a giant omnibus.
Without completely screwing up the duo of tales for the prospective viewer, I’ll give you the basics of each story – the first yarn is about a mysterious antiquity that gets discovered by a low-level businessman, and while his mind is solely about getting paid for the odd trinket, he opts for a second opinion from his scientist cohort, but before the two can come to an agreement about what this thing even is, or the potential power it holds, events begin to take a very steep decline. Overall, a fun little story, and it spices up the film as a whole – performances were a little iffy, but the foundation holds its ground.
The second quickie revolves around a woman who is tiring of her overnight job in the (ahem) sex industry, and her desire to escape the lifestyle is complicated by the offer to accept a new position from some less than normal folks… did I mention that they were odd? This story is more along the lines of a slower than slow burn, with an unsettling implication attached to it, but it’s fun to watch, and the portrayals are both interesting and vexing all at the same time.
Lough more than aptly pulls off the full-length feature to his benefit, and aside from some lagging points in the tempo, this anthology is well presented, especially for being on a low-budget scale, and this vehicle should only drive him further into bigger and more memorable projects in the future. In the end, Night People is a less creepier product than some of its predecessors, but it’s definitely not short on keeping your attention. Well worth the watch if you get the chance.