Director – Rich Ragsdale (Ghost House, Sacrament)
Starring – Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween, Wicked Little Things), Nolan Gerard Funk (Ghost Light, Truth or Dare), and Deborah Kara Unger (Jackals, The Hollow)
Release Date – 2022
Rating – 3/5
I’m grateful for any new film released over the last two years. I’ve mentioned before in several of my reviews that I know how damn near impossible it is to film a movie in this post-Covid climate. However, we are still fairly early on in the new year and there has been a handful of decent budgeted films hit store shelves.
A few weeks ago I received the press release from Well Go USA that they would be releasing Rich Ragsdale’s The Long Night starring the lovely Scout Taylor-Compton. Most fans of Taylor-Compton recognize her from Rob Zombie’s Halloween and the remake of April Fool’s Day. However, the film that always stands out to me the most is Wicked Little Things which went fairly unnoticed upon it’s initial release. I reached out to Well Go and they were kind enough to send over a copy for me to check out. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler alert** The film follows a young couple, Grace (Taylor-Compton) and Jack (Funk), who rent a home in the woods for a little getaway. Jack is from a wealthy family while Grace is an orphan growing up never knowing who her parents are. However, their ideal weekend away turns deadly when they find a gutted cat and an occult symbol painted in it’s blood on their porch shortly after arriving. Soon a group of mask occultists arrive and a game of cat and mouse ensues before it’s revealed who Grace really is and why she never knew her parents growing up. **Spoiler Alert**
Honestly, I had no idea what The Long Night was about prior to watching it. I loved the artwork and I was obviously interested in it when I saw that Scout Taylor-Compton was attached. However, after checking it out I noticed some similarities to the horror film Baphomet that was released last year. I didn’t care for that film and The Long Night did it better but the similarities are still there. It’s a solid film with a pretty predictable story that still finds a way to pull you in even though you know exactly where it’s going.
The acting in this one is great. The entire cast is fantastic but the characters are rather generic especially for a horror tale centered around a cult. Cliched or generic as it may be, I was still surprised by Taylor-Compton’s performance in the last leg of the film. She really goes over the top in the only stand out performance of the film. I really did like the cast but they were given characters to portray that can be found in dozens if not hundreds of films.
The story for this one follows a couple in the woods while a southern cult prepares for an event several decades in the making. It’s a cool concept that I enjoyed. I’m a sucker for cult films and when you toss on the southern spin you have something truly unique in my opinion. I live in the Appalachia’s and know how dedicated to ancient religions some of the more rural communities can be. It’s truly terrifying and a fantastic basis for a horror story. The film does a decent enough job with it but left so much on the table along with so much backstory. I feel like the backstory on Grace is enough to warrant it’s own movie instead of a five minute conversation. Regardless, I did like the story but it could have been so much more.
Finally, the film doesn’t shy away from the red stuff. We get plenty of blood and some solid effects but it’s not as gory as I would have liked. The deaths are nothing memorable but the blood is fun. Overall, The Long Night is worth a watch. I really enjoyed it but the story could have been so much more than it is. One day I hope it’s explored upon or a sequel is released but I’m not disappointed with the actual film. Check it out.