‘From dusk till gone’
The Dead of Night is a 2021 American thriller feature film about a pair of siblings being terrorised and hunted by a pair of nomadic killers.
Written and directed by Robert Dean, the Buffalo 8 Productions-PRC Productions movie stars Lance Henriksen, Matthew Lawrence, Ellen Gerstein and Darius Homayoun.
Violent masked drifters dressed as wolves arrive in a small rural town, a local young couple goes missing and their bodies are discovered near a ranch run by brother and sister, Tommy (Jake Etheridge) and June (Colby Crain). Her ex-boyfriend and local deputy sheriff Luke (Matthew Lawrence) start suspecting Tommy of murder, leaving the siblings ostracised and disenchanted with the community.
The next day Tommy catches the killers committing another murder nearby and moves in closer to investigate but he is spotted by one of the drifters and chased across the ranch running for his life. Isolated, the siblings find themselves being hunted and terrorised by the nomadic killers setting the scene for a startling twist and a gruesome outcome that will change the town forever…
Writer/director Robert Dean commented: “The Dead of Night takes the audiences into the dark side of “no man’s land” – the desolate high desert of New Mexico. Not many people know this film is based on a childhood fear of mine. There is something about growing up on an isolated ranch that truly inspired yet frightened me at the same time.
Rural America is a strange crossroads where recluses, drifters, and outlaws like to dwell. It’s eerie out there – being in the middle of nowhere, especially at night. These feelings are what spawned The Dead of Night. I couldn’t be prouder of this film and every single individual that believed and helped bring this vision to life.”
“The murders often take place off-screen and the gore is kept to a minimum […] but there are compensations – namely, the character development I mentioned earlier. I wish that there had been a little more thought given to the plot, though, which is fairly derivative throughout until the climax. All in all, not a bad effort but a tame one…” Cinema 365
“The screenplay for The Dead of Night is dead on arrival with its poor characterizations and by-the-numbers plotting. This makes a lot of the film rather dull and frustrating, as everyone is an idiot. However, the cast, lead by a remarkable turn from Matthew Lawrence, does what they can, and the style is truly impeccable. While the film cannot be recommended as a whole, some elements work…” Film Threat
March 9th 2021 via Scream Factory TV
Cast and characters:
Lance Henriksen … Earl
Matthew Lawrence … Deputy Luke Walker
Ellen Gerstein … Nana
Darius Homayoun … Colt Skeen
Boots Southerland … Ronnie
Jake Etheridge … Tommy
Colby Crain … June
Merritt C. Glover … Beth
Leah Bezozo … Amber
Charlotte McKee … Maddie Hall
Chris Ranney … Chris
Mark Speno … Richard Hall
Tim Stafford … Tate
Marla Robison … Rachel
Brian Patrick Buckley … Jimmy Ray
Albuquerque, New Mexico
MOVIES and MANIA round-up review and rating:
The oft-used Dead of Night title is a misnomer as most of the film takes place in hot, sweaty daytime situations. There’s a stifling sizzling atmosphere for sure however the murders take backstage to relationship angst. The soundtrack oozes uneasiness and when the violence erupts it’s compelling. Unfortunately, the overall approach is often languid rather than engaging.