K Factor Films
Written by Robert Johnson
Directed by Niki Koss
Starring Brenna D’Amico, Deric Augustine, Taylor Gray, Nick Marini, Tony Todd, Eric Roberts, Matty Cardarpole, Adam Budron, Harrison Callaghan
After waking up from a horrific car accident, April must find a way to work through her trauma and a will to survive a recovery from hell.
One of the first things that jumps out is the fact that the movie has such an interesting and unique color pallet and perspective. For such a heavy subject, the film starts delightfully light in a way that is instantly disarming. The accident scene that kicks off the plot is really interesting visually and narratively because it shows the contrast in both character’s behaviors and how either one of them could be at fault for what happens next.
I love the tension between Robert and Jax. The skepticism that he shows is really well done. Unfortunately, Jax tends to fall into some really cliché character tropes as the movie continues which are necessary to keep him as a passive character, but also stunts his presence later in the film. Robert is already creepy and Nick Marini does a great job of establishing that there is something dark beneath the surface from his first appearance. His infantilizing of April is disturbing as well as his gaslighting of her (as we come to discover) all too real fears and concerns.
Brenna D’Amico is really great. There is a real independence to her character and that makes it interesting to see her in situations where she is subject to Robert’s creepy attention. The isolation she’s experiencing is well done as well and you wonder who she can actually turn to. There is an intelligence in her performance that upends a lot of the tropes found in the genre. It makes her journey in the film more engaging.
There are so many beautifully framed scenes in this movie. The house where most of the plot takes place is strange as well with a deceptively unnerving sense of size and perspective. This works really well in making the viewer question things April is experiencing while also empathizing with her fear as you find yourself looking at the corners of the screen in anticipation of seeing something disturbing. The music is interesting. It’s an eclectic mix of genres that works really well with both the tone of the film and the demographic of the characters in it.
Admittedly, the twist in the plot was relatively easy to figure out, but as a fan of the genre, I admired the journey a lot. What made it more interesting is the ways in which certain moments were revealed and how director Koss takes the ending in an unexpected direction that will leave you guessing.
Night Night is a visually inventive and interesting thriller that definitely looks at the genre with a unique perspective and focus on both character and atmosphere to tell its story.