Night Before, The (2017)


Starring Rachel Whittle, Steven Michael Quezada, Tom Zembrod

Directed by Brett Bentman

You’ve got to love a film that doesn’t mince any words or actions when setting up its delivery, such as Brett Bentman’s thriller The Night Before – we’ve got a loony, underwear-clad killer in a gas-mask terrorizing a mother and daughter the night before Halloween, home-invasion style. Let’s make our way past the pumpkins and spooky decorations and jump into this one, shall we?

In the wake of a serial-killer escaping a mental hospital close to a small town, a grizzled police detective (Quezada – most memorably from Breaking Bad) is issuing personal pleas to the local residents to keep themselves locked up tightly for the trick-or-treating extravaganza. The killer’s name is Jasper (Zembrod), and it’s made crystal clear very early on that his elevator doesn’t reach the top floor. With his gas-mask firmly fastened and an eerie rasping breath (sounding like Darth Vader with COPD), he wastes no time in scouting out a mother/daughter tandem (Whittle and Kimi Acosta) and holds them hostage on the eve of the big night – you see? No muss, no fuss, no foolin’ around here!

With a slow-tempoed pace that assists in the plot’s placement, the movie doesn’t suffer from its sluggish approach, however some of the performances are a bit stale in essence. Quezada does more than the workman’s share in his role of the overly concerned cop – he always manages to snag a spot like this, and he manages to knock it out of the park each and every time. Having two actresses successfully managing to effectively portray a mother/daughter duo is not an easy one, as there have been more than a fair share of failed attempts in the past, but both Acosta and Whittle give the looks and feels of a related bond – pretty impressive work, ladies. As far as our leading lunatic, Zembrod plays it safe, yet doesn’t allow the audience to get too close to his warped mind, and that’s the safe route – the believability of a role as a killer can get a bit watered-down if the audience is too in-tune with their inner workings. Overall, the film is a decent watch, elemental in its presentation, but entertaining nonetheless – good for a rainy-day watch, or something to prevent having to take your kids out for door-to-door candy begging.

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User Rating 5 (1 vote)


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