THE NIGHT is a new horror-mystery from IFC Midnight that has a lot going for it. While the story is set in the US, the two main characters are an Iranian married couple. The two are trapped inside a hotel during a night that seems to never end. Read our full The Night movie review here!
THE NIGHT is a new horror movie that utilizes mystery and thriller elements to keep the simple plot going. To me, the movie does run a good 10-15 minutes too long, but this is the only bad thing I can say about it.
Most characters featured in this movie are from Iran, which means most of the dialogue is not in English. However, the story is set in the US, so the surrounding will be very familiar. Also, there really isn’t all that much dialogue, so don’t let the fact that this movie is “foreign” keep you from watching it.
The movie is released by IFC Midnight which should be reason enough to check it out. Continue reading our The Night review below.
The truth shall set you free
Most of The Night features the married couple from Iran, who are still struggling to really feel at home. Both with one another and in the United States. While spending the night at a hotel – because the husband is too drunk and confused to find his way home – their darkest secrets are forced into the light.
Or rather, things keep happening and appear to continue unless they reveal their dark secrets to one another. Literally, the night continues and light [the sunrise] will not come until their secrets are brought out of the darkness.
Horror fans will pick up on this rather quickly and it is the essential plot, so I’m not trying to do spoilers here. However, the real treat is watching them slowly catch on to what is happening. Without giving away any context that might be a spoiler, I’ll just say that the ending of a scene featuring a police officer was brilliant.
One of the most simple and subtly creepy horror scenes I’ve watched in recent time. Now that is how you work with horror through storytelling!
Strong performances carry the plot
The plot of The Night is very simple and completely character-driven in most ways. This requires solid and strong performances by the two lead actors, who manage to deliver on this.
Shahab Hosseini plays Babak Naderi. An Iranian man, who has been working and living in the US for a few years while trying to get his future wife over from Iran. You might recognize Shahab Hosseini if you’ve watched the Academy Award-winning movies A Separation (2011) and The Salesman (2016).
As the wife, Neda Naderi, we see Niousha Noor deliver a strong and often very sympathetic portrayal. Neda has just recently arrived in the US and still doesn’t really feel at home. They have a child and she is fighting for both herself, her husband, and in particular the future of her baby. Niousha Noor has been in the HBO series Here and Now and a few episodes of Stitchers.
Watch The Night on VOD
The Night was directed and co-written by Kourosh Ahari who already has a few feature films and even more short films on his resume. The screenplay was written with Milad Jarmooz. I’m not familiar with either of these filmmakers, but I was definitely impressed with the movie they’ve made here.
From very early on, it’s clear that there is a lot of symbolism and many mind games. Comparison to The Shining is almost inevitable since both take place at a hotel, where the main characters are trapped and experience strange things. To say the least. However, the two are also very different. For one, the horror element never becomes that evident in The Night.
At least not in a physical sense, because the psychological horror is certainly there. Personally, I really liked the ending of The Night but I suspect it won’t be for everyone. It runs a bit too long for my liking, but I would give it a very respectable 3½ out of 5 stars.
The Night is out in select theaters and on VOD from January 29, 2021.
Director: Kourosh Ahari
Writers: Kourosh Ahari, Milad Jarmooz
Stars: Shahab Hosseini, Niousha Noor, George Maguire, Elester Latham
After a night out with friends, an exhausted married couple, Babak (Shahab Hosseini), Neda (Niousha Noor) and their baby take shelter in the grand, but eerie Hotel Normandie. Throughout a seemingly endless night, mysterious disturbances ruin their night’s rest as Babak and Neda soon realize they’re locked-in with a malevolent force that hungers for the dark secrets they’ve kept from one another.