Starring Tammy Blanchard, Zane Holtz, Azhy Robertson
Written by Jason Noto
Directed by Jason Noto
Writer/director Jason Noto’s new film Beyond the Night is an intense thriller with unique and captivating twists and turns. When his wife is killed in a car accident, marine Ray Marrow (Zane Holtz) returns home to his coal-mining town to care for his five-year-old son, Lawrence (Azhy Robertson). Lawrence survived the accident, but is suffering from PTSD which, oddly, endows him with supernatural abilities. While Ray struggles with grieving for his wife and trying to figure out how to be a good father, Lawrence’s newly acquired abilities cause both of them to become dangerously entangled in the mystery of a missing girl.
Despite the fact that I thought there were some pieces missing from the plot, the script is intriguing and it is easy to get absorbed in the mystery at the heart of Beyond the Night. Azhy Robertson gives a riveting performance as Lawrence, who was born with a large birthmark covering part of his face. Some of the people in their small town have superstitious beliefs about the meaning of his birthmark that might also explain his connection to the supernatural. When Lawrence starts talking about a missing girl who is trying to communicate with him, the locals shun him, but Ray’s sister (Tammy Blanchard), a deputy in town, believes Lawrence is experiencing something unusual and wants to help him.
It turns out the missing girl’s father is some kind of gangster and almost everyone in town, including the sheriff, seem to be involved in a cover-up of her disappearance. There are several run-ins between the father of the missing girl and Ray. The way the father’s sidekicks whip out their guns every single time borders on being comical. I get it. The bad guys like to show off their guns, but it becomes ridiculously excessive by the end of the movie.
Redundant gun threats aside, I found Beyond the Night to be completely enthralling. After Lawrence experiences several strange supernatural occurrences, in a shocking twist, the final act of the film reveals his true connection to the missing girl. The conclusion isn’t as satisfying as it could have been because we only get a partial revelation of what happened to the girl when she went missing as well as the obvious cover-up that followed. Overall, Beyond the Night is a haunting story with memorable performances that is only flawed by missing pieces to the mystery at the center of the film.
Beyond the Night will have a limited theatrical release beginning January 11th in Los Angeles, and will be available on VOD January 29th. The DVD will be available February 5th.
Beyond the Night is an enthralling thriller with a unique supernatural twist that is slightly flawed by missing pieces to the mystery at the center of the film.