Friday, February 28, 2020

Night – revisited

I reviewed the film Night by Byron C Miller back in 2006 and, whilst it was a low budget affair and was far from perfect, it was also enjoyable, indeed I said at the time “it is worth a watch for genre fans.”

Cut forward 14 years and the director emailed me to say, “Many years ago you reviewed my first feature film, NIGHT. Thank you for reviewing it! If you're at all curious I recently went back and made a leaner Director's Cut of the movie. It was an exercise in reediting the film to something a little closer to the script, removing the filler scenes that were included to meet the distributor mandated run time.

Shawn Le Tang as Jimi
As this was a new cut, I was indeed interested in reviewing it and gave the film a watch. The first thing that struck me was that it had a tremendously fuzzy feel to it, not quite as clean as I remembered, and this was backed up by looking at the screenshots I took originally. The film suited this less clean look. I also suspect that filters had been played with (or had been set differently by the distributors of the 2006 release). All in all it looks richer.

Melanie Ginnett as Tonia
The film runs far better for the more judicial editing – indeed IMDb reveals that 9 additional minutes were filmed and spliced into the original release of the film to increase the running time as the distributor demanded – and the moments that felt like padding, as I originally watched the film, would seem to have been expunged from the film. The improvements aren’t enough for me to up the original score – the film is more ambitious than its budget would allow for, and I think the score still fair – but it reinforces my espoused view of the film being worth watching if you are a genre fan. Even more so as Byron C Miller has made this cut available to watch for free on YouTube.

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