Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Night Owl (2004)

Pack: Tomb of Terrors
Disc: 9

Subgenre(s): Possession

Year: 2004 (IMDb says 2005)

Rated: Unrated
Length: 98 minutes

Director: Steven Shea
Writer: Steven Shea
Starring: Jessica Mathews, Skye Noel Smith, Anthony Demaris

Synopsis: No one really knows how the Revelations will take place. Many expect a large full scale war, considering the first sign of the apocalypse is a slaughter. What if God has different plans than everyone expects? What if the end is truly near? What if the only ones who knew, were four college girls?


Review: Imagine, if you will, the four women from Sex and the City at least 20 years younger, of slightly different ethnicities, not comedic, and with the quiet, mousey one getting possessed by a mythical demon. In a nutshell, that's all there is to The Night Owl.

Underneath all the clever mythological stuff about Lilith (the first woman who rejected Adam and became a demon), The Night Owl is just another "cabin in the woods" slasher but with a rather nice house instead of some old cabin and not very much slashing.

The story is really slow, but if you want to watch a bunch of American girls getting obnoxiously drunk on a thimble full of whisky for 15 minutes then this is the movie for you. They don't even have the decency to run around naked afterwards! Lily (Skye Noel Smith) gets topless for a few seconds much later, but that's not related to boozing.

The Night Owl could have been decent except that it's full of too many annoyances. The characters aren't very well written or acted, there's bright red blood occasionally but no gore, there are no scares, and the pacing leaves a lot to be desired. Even the hope of seeing the Samantha-wannabe, Beth (Jessica Matthews), getting nude is dashed repeatedly.

The camerawork is quite good without a lot of the shakycam problems which usually accompany low-budget movies. Some of the strange Batman-style angles are what happens when a film school student gets carried away with what they learned rather than framing the shots as nature intended, but it's still not a particularly bad-looking movie. The house they filmed in looks immaculate inside although it's unimaginatively bland and very magnolia.

One thing which sticks out like a sore thumb is that all the characters swear like troopers apart from one, Evie (Kimberly Shea), who says "effin" a lot rather than the real expletive. She's not even the mousey one. I have no idea why she does this especially as she's obviously related to the director in some way.

The blurred film effects towards the end which are supposed to represent "invisible" demons flying around aren't too good, but it shows some improvisation. If you look closely, the demons are supposed to look like stingrays (the fish not the missiles) which is a nice touch considering what they are supposed to have been formed from after Lilith's activities as a succubus.

If you are looking for horror, the clips of music which are occasionally used in the background are nasty enough, but The Night Owl isn't going to do anything for you. It's just a drawn out feminist drama for the most part and not a very interesting one either.

Most Memorable Moment(s): Danny's wet dream.

Originality: None.

Best Line(s): "I am not your cellphone's keeper."
Worst Line(s): "I want your hands embracing me, darling. I want to feel the fresh breath of your body."

Best Effect(s): The graffiti all over Lily's bedroom wall.
Worst Effect(s): The blurry "invisible" demon-stingrays.

Goriness (out of 10): 1
Sexiness (out of 10): 2
Profanities (out of 10): 3

Hottest Actor/Actress: Jessica Mathews as Beth.

Picture Quality: Good
Audio Quality: Good

Rating (out of 10): 1

Trailer: None
IMDb or Wiki: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478917/

Final Thoughts:

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