Cast:Daniel Hugh Kelly, Ally Walker, Noell Coet, Stephanie Erb, Adam C. Edwards, Charlie O’Connell, Erica Leerhsen, Richard Riehle, Ian Bamberg
Mischief Night comes to us from Richard Schenkman whose given us cinema greats such as Playboy: Playmates in Paradise and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies...*awkward silence*... He's back with Mischief Night, and just in time for Halloween (well sort of). In the film we follow a girl named Emily who suffers from psychosomatic blindness (blind mentally, not physically) and finds herself alone on the night before Halloween. While her Dad is off on a hot date, young Emily is terrorized by an unknown assailant with a mask and yellow raincoat. Naturally she can't see this person, but she knows he's there and he's up to no good--chasing her around and killing off surprise guests and whatnot; typical bad guy stuff.
Despite Richard Schenkman's dubious filmmaking past, Mischief Night actually turned out more decent than expected. I thought I was watching another typical whodunit slasher, but instead got a somewhat tense home invasion thriller. That's mostly thanks to our blind protagonist and her willingness to survive despite her current situation. The acting on Noell Coet's (Emily) part is better than average when compared to most straight-to-demand indie horror schlock.
Sadly, the fact that it's not another slasher is also the film's downfall, as the pacing is slow and we're given several filler moments where Emily could've easily been killed off, but instead the masked man just chose to stand motionless in the nearby background in attempt to create some sort of tension. I don't mind a little tension here and there, but when that's half the entire movie it becomes a problem. Aside from the horribly acted introduction kill, we don't actually see another death until well into the half-way mark.
There are a couple red herrings thrown at us to keep us guessing, but it didn't really matter since it ends rather abruptly and without any explanation other than us concluding that it was all due to it being "Mischief Night" where people can troll and act like assholes before Halloween. Had I known beforehand that this was more of a character driven dramatic thriller, I probably would have expected not seeing many deaths or blood/gore for that matter. I'll give credit that it was nice to see some changes in the usual formula, but the changes weren't enough to make up for a lot of what the movie was lacking in the pacing/scares/action department.
Mischief Night is a somewhat decent home invasion thriller, but sadly takes more than half its running time to really kick into gear. The rest of the movie is played out by one silly decision and unrealistically convenient thing after the other. If you're looking for a more character-driven dramatic home invasion indie thriller than maybe give this a look, otherwise you may wanna check elsewhere.
|Posted on November 2, 2013 - 3:20am | FrighT MasteR|