Following a breakdown Ken Barber (Geno Walker) chooses to live a recluse existence, spending his time documenting ghost sightings on social media. Divorced from his wife Kelsey (Kate Arrington) and estranged from his children, Ken purposely moves into an apartment that is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a woman called Roberta Wellwood (Morgan S. Reesh). Communicating with people only via video chat, Ken starts to experience strange things in the apartment so he turns to supernatural expert Colin (Lawrence Grimm) to assist with an exorcism, and that sets off a series of escalating events.
‘Night’s End’ is a claustrophobic horror-thriller directed by Jennifer Reeder (‘Knives and Skin’ and written by Brett Neveu. Darkly lit throughout and focusing predominantly on creating an unsettling atmosphere, the film is a slow-paced one that hits a few too many already familiar marks. Having spent the last two years mostly confined to our homes and speaking to friends and family only via Zoom, ‘Night’s End’ will feel like you’re watching what you’ve just lived through and it doesn’t really offer the kind of escapism you want from a horror.
While the film starts off genuinely intriguing, the plot doesn’t hang together in a particularly cohesive way and for a lot of the time you’re simply watching Ken chatting to various people via video chat. The film tries to round out Ken’s character by having him talk to his close friend Terry (Felonius Munk) and his ex-wife Kelsey. We do learn a bit about him via these calls but not really enough to fully understand or care about the character. That makes the creepy goings on around him feel less worrying, which is a bit of a shame.
For me, where the film really struggles is in deciding what it wants to be. Is the story trying to tell us about Ken’s mental state or are there genuinely creepy things going on? The introduction of Colin, who tries to aid Ken with an exorcism, feels too familiar from other films of this nature and again, like Ken, we don’t really get to know very much about who Colin is.
Geno Walker gives a solid enough performance as Ken. He doesn’t have a whole lot to work with and some of his dialogue is clunky, but that’s no fault of his own. A capable actor, he could have done so much more with a truly fleshed out character but all he really needs to do here is act scared or angry. Michael Shannon provides some comic relief in a small supporting role, alongside his real life wife Kate Arrington, but both actors are wasted.
‘Night’s End’ is high on atmosphere but sadly lacking in terms of story and a punch. Even though it only has an 82-minute run time, the film still feels too long and there isn’t enough story in there to keep you hooked. Director Reeder does the best she can to make the film visually interesting, which is a challenge with the majority of the film taking place in one location, but the problems with the story and the script hamper what she was trying to achieve here.
Cast: Geno Walker, Felonius Munk, Lawrence Grimm, Kate Arrington, Daniel Kyri, Michael Shannon, Morgan S. Reesh Director: Jennifer Reeder Writer: Brett Neveu Certificate: 18 Duration: 82 mins Released by: Shudder Release date: 31st March 2022