One of the greatest joys of being a horror fan is that it’s a genre which doesn’t always take itself entirely seriously. Directors often revel in the weird and wonderful, taking extreme liberties with believability and common sense. Take a well-trodden sub-genre and do something entirely ridiculous with it. This is precisely what Brad Baruh does in his new film Dead Night. A trashy ‘B’ Movie featuring a legend of genre cinema.
James (AJ Bowen) and Casey (Brea Grant) decide to take their son Jason (Joshua Hoffman), daughter Jessica (Sophie Dalah) and her friend Becky (Elise Luthman) to a remote cabin in Oregon for the weekend. It’s sat on a rock which is supposed to have healing qualities and Casey hopes it will help her husband who has cancer. Whilst collecting firewood, James encounters a strange woman (Barbara Crampton) passed out in the snow. Unbeknownst to him, taking her back to their cabin unleashes a reign of terror which leaves the family fighting for their lives.
Dead Night is a rampant and unhinged take on ‘cabin in the woods’ theme, which throws everything at the wall to create a madcap bloodfest. The main action is accompanied by ‘fast-forward’ reportage which hints at something bigger. Baruh throw in witches, the supernatural, possession and a largely baffling world domination angle into the mix. What makes Dead Night such fun is how invested the cast all are in this melting pot. Turning a film which could have been tiresome into a highly entertaining and enjoyable, if scattergun, romp.
Dead Night is released on DVD and digital by Studiocanal on 8th October.