Mischief Night – USA, 2013 – reviews

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‘The lucky ones die quickly.’

Mischief Night – aka The Night Before Halloween – is a 2013 American horror thriller feature film written and directed by Richard Schenkman (Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies) from a story by producers Jesse Baget and Eric D. Wilkinson. It should not be confused with the 2014 film with the same title that stars Malcolm McDowell.

The movie stars Ian Bamberg (Delirium), Noell Coet (Within the Dark), Adam C. Edwards (Fear of Clowns 2; The Quiet Ones; Teen Wolf), Stephanie Erb, Daniel Hugh Kelly and Erica Leerhsen.

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Emily Walton is a young woman who suffers from psychosomatic blindness caused by a car accident that killed her mother. Emily is trying to adjust to her blindness and at the same time is being smothered by her father. On Mischief Night, when her father goes out on a date leaving her alone, she is terrorised by a hooded figure. Emily must fight for her life in order to survive and protect herself and everyone she holds dear from the intruder…

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Reviews:

“Many of the scenes will inspire audiences to clench here and there as Schenkman is able to derive a lot of cringe inducing moments based around Emily’s lack of sight. One scene in particular has her hanging over a shattered fruit bowl as she attempts to shut off a smoke detector. Coet’s performance is great considering the character could have easily been overplayed and incredibly over the top.” Felix Vasquez, Cinema Crazed

” … the film is shot and directed beautifully. It looks absolutely gorgeous. The director makes wonderful use of the house and the shadows that lurk in all the nooks and crannies are used to great effect. There are also a couple of good gore set-pieces that stand out in the film that I wasn’t expecting. The acting is great across the board.” Michael Juvinall, Horror Society

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Mischief Night is like a scaled down version of The Strangers.  Although other people cycle in and out, it is basically one stalker and one victim in one house lit by venetian blinds in every single room.  Decent performances fight off narcolepsy in places, but Mischief Night has nothing original to say, and no new ways to say it.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

“Beyond the horror formula being played out pitch perfect, there were lots of other clichés that weren’t quite so “charming”… Mischief Night is more like a jigsaw puzzle, pulling together a bunch of stock scenes and responses, than a creative work. Still, stupid as it sounds, the film is very entertaining.” Don Sumner, Best Horror Movies

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“The premise is rife for a Home Alone-esque scenario, but it’s never truly capitalized on until it’s too late. Even then, it’s still never played to its full potential; it’s suitably gory and violent at times, but for those looking to experience a modicum of genuine tension, you’d do best to look elsewhere.”Brad McHargue, Dread Central

Mischief Night is a small indie slasher, which has a few compelling film elements, such as: lighting, music and tone. However, the film’s central conflict is not setup well enough to create any real action. The protagonist overcomes a series of obstacles, but the ending feels flat. Mischief Night might satisfy a few indie horror fans, but the majority might want to seek out better slasher films…” Michael Allen, 28 Days Later Analysis

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Main cast and characters:

  • Noell Coet as Emily Walton
  • Ian Bamberg as Jimmy
  • Adam C. Edwards as The Intruder
  • Stephanie Erb as Lauren
  • Daniel Hugh Kelly as David Walton
  • Erica Leerhsen as Kim
  • Shannon Makhanian as Emily’s Mother
  • Charlie O’Connell
  • Richard Riehle
  • Ally Walker

 

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