April 8th, 2022
MOVIE: THE LONG NIGHT- BLU-RAY REVIEW
STARRING: SCOUT TAYLOR-COMPTON, NOLAN GERARD FUNK, JEFF FAHEY
DIRECTED BY: RICH RAGSDALE
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 2 STARS (Out of 4)
The word that came to mind with The Long Night was respect. I respected the hell out of it. I didn’t find it to be a good movie, per se, but it has that spirit of horror that I respect in every way. Director Rich Ragsdale has the heart and passion for filmmaking that shows on the screen, from the sets, the tone, and the cinematography, which should at least cause audiences to appreciate The Long Night. The sad part is that it’s still a standard horror movie, where a couple takes a trip to a cottage in the country and when they arrive they find a secret cult waiting to sacrifice them. Unfortunately, The Long Night tries to work with scary masks and jump scares, which is not enough to make an entertaining horror movie.
The star is Scout Taylor-Compton, playing Grace Covington who is dating Jack Cabot (Nolan Gerard) and the excitement has arrived of Grace being introduced to Jack’s parents. The meet and greet doesn’t go perfect, but now the couple is hoping to find out more about Grace’s family past at the country home of her estranged father. When they arrive, the place is fully furnished, and a note that says “make yourself comfortable”. But as expected, things start to seem strange after, with Grace seeing snakes, experiencing dark dreams, and followed by a group of people in masks holding torches. Now the couple must find out if they are there to sacrifice them or if there is a darker spirit luring them to their demise.
The majority of The Long Night’s problems rest on the story. The screenplay by Mark Young and Robert Sheppe is rampant with horror movie cliches. A broken down shady gas station, dark dreams, cults in robes and masks, haunting sacrifices in the woods, and nobody having a working cell phone. Every box is checked and it’s genuinely the reason why The Long Night fails to work. The direction from Ragsdale shows an artist with ambition in his scope, where the makeup effects are practical, and the cinematography by Pierluigi Malavasi is excellent. The third act turns into Grace running for her life, as the group of torch holders move in on her, and the camera follows with style and skill.
As for Scout Taylor-Compton, she’s a worthy lead to carry a horror movie, as she did it before in Rob Zombie’s Halloween, but here she’s saddled with doing the cliched parts. Waking up shocked to her nightmares, wondering why Jack won’t believe her, and playing the final girl being chased in the woods. It ultimately boils down to there not being enough to hold onto here. The Long Night has nothing to say, which could succeed if it took a page out of the Ari Aster page, where the director proved that horror films about cults (Midsommar) or family (Hereditary) can be terrifying and still say more than ever before.
What helps The Long Night, is that the Blu-ray release from Well Go USA Entertainment does feature a cool behind the scenes look, where fans of horror can see the hard work of Rich Ragsdale and his crew. If one thing is proven here it’s that it always takes a village to make a good horror movie and I always find more respect and praise for films that do work with equal or lesser budgets. The Long Night is just too much of a direct to VOD movie and fails to scare us in the process. I will, however, be looking for what Rich Ragsdale does next. The Long Night is just the beginning for him.
THE LONG NIGHT IS NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY WHERE DVD & BLU-RAYS ARE SOLD FROM WELL GO USA ENTERTAINMENT
Written by: Leo Brady