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Review: Joseph R. Davis & Brian Gerson’s “That Night”

Anything marked as “based on a true story” instantly grabs my attention. Truly, the most horrific things are often based in reality; scenarios that can actually happen to us. That Night, a new short film shot under ProCo Productions and Queen Scream Productions, hopes to capitalize on that primal fear. That Night is directed by Joseph R. Davis & Brian Gerson, based on the screenplay by Jennifer Nangle and Garrett Lee. This, too, was one of the reasons why I wanted to check out this 26 minute film. Although Jennifer Nangle is doing big things for women in horror and she’s an up-and-coming horror actress, I’ve never been able to check out her talents in a large capacity until now. She co-stars as Rachel in That Night, a story that follows two unsuspecting couples and one decision that changes the course of their lives. Amanda Cano, Garrett Lee and Raymond Vinsik Williams also star in this title, which is debuting on YouTube January 31, 2019.

A party at a friend’s house. Great! Some free drinks. Even better! But when the party’s over and Rachel and Josh overstay their welcome, the evening turns into a grim and torturous night they may not survive. I mean, perhaps the “based on a true story” grab is from all the millions of hosts who’ve wanted to murder the guests who stay after a certain hour. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Karen…) I don’t know if I’d consider That Night an official horror title in that respect. Sure, murder and blood sounds good, but in this artistic space, it exists more as a dark drama and suspense thriller than straight-up horror. There’s a difference between other taken hostage and tortured movies and this one, but I’m not going to go into the details for fear of spoiling parts of the movie. I’ll cap this thought by saying That Night is a good movie, but you’re not getting what you need if you’re looking for something scary. It will make you feel uncomfortable and paranoid, though.

That Night is an independent production, but it’s nowhere near “b-movie” quality. So, while it may be lacking in traditional/stereotypical horror elements, it stands out as a worthwhile, high quality short. The audio and picture dip a bit here and there, but overall it was shot and pieced together well. Props to cinematographer Jason Peguero, editors Joseph R. Davis & Brian Gerson, composer Rocky Gray and all the extremely capable actors for their contributions to this movie. I’m happy to say that the style That Night was shot in and the way the scores work with the scenes made an atmosphere and mood that was quite successful. On January 31, 2019, when this title is released to YouTube, viewers will be watching it waiting for the hammer to drop. And when it does, they’ll be left wanting more. That Night is a dark and suspenseful thriller with just enough “what the fuck” mystique to keep you entertained.

Final Score: 7 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)